Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
894. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if participants of the current GLAS scheme will be automatically included in an extension of the GLAS scheme; if they will be allowed to opt out of an extension; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6431/20]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 893 and 894 together.
In relation to the continuation of existing schemes under the Rural Development Programmes, as there is no certainty at EU level on the budget or on the timeframe of the transitional measures, it is not therefore possible to make decisions on the continuation of RDP schemes such as GLAS, until clarification is available. Ireland has pressed for the earliest possible adoption of this legislation, so that we can provide certainty to farmers and rural communities and plan for the transitional period with legal and financial certainty as soon as possible
Any extension to these schemes, would be dependent on the appropriate budget being available, as well as sufficient time being available from the adoption of the legal framework to allow administrative provisions to be put in place. The Department is currently considering these matters in the context of giving effect in due course to the transitional arrangements should they be adopted.
I should clarify that as GLAS is a voluntary scheme, farmers in GLAS will not be obliged to participate in any transitional arrangements which are put in place once they have completed their existing five year contract.