C.A.P. Agreement is a major Stepping Stone – Deering.

21st March, 2013

Carlow Fine Gael TD., Pat Deering, has described last Tuesday night’s agreement as a major stepping stone in the negotiations on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy that have been going on for over four years. Ministers from the 27 EU Member States accepted a package of proposals tabled by the Irish Presidency.

“I welcome this important next step in the negotiations, it is by no means a done deal but it will allow the process on CAP reform to move to the final so called ‘trilogue’ stage. Minister Coveney’s approximation model has been accepted, there will be some redistribution but nothing like the flat rate that had been proposed by the Commission. The council endorsed the principle of flexibility known as ‘internal convergence’ which will mean significantly lower transfers of payments between farmers than was feared. The all important reference year will have a voluntary option of 2012 or 2013.

“The Council also accepted Minister Coveney’s proposals on ‘Greening’. This part of the agreement means that individual farmers can apply a percentage of their single payment rather than a flat rate or a national average.

“I am also pleased that the ending of sugar quotas has been finally dealt with. The original agreement and what the Commission wanted was 2015, the European Parliament wanted 2020, which might mean it would never happen as 2020 is outside the current period of agreement. Member states agreed a compromise proposal which provides for the ending of sugar quotas in 2017. This is an important step in getting a Sugar Beet Industry back in to this Country.

“Another key feature is the agreement to increase by two percentage points the rates of voluntary coupled support. Ireland will now have the option of using up to 7% of our national envelope for such payments.

“The four main proposals agreed in Brussels cover the key elements of the CAP. Minister Coveney described this as ‘only an interim success’ and a lot of work still needs to be done at Commission and Parliament level before a full CAP reform package is finalised. The end of June has been set as the end date