Commenting after the presentation of the European Commission’s legislative package to the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee in Brussels today Liam Aylward MEP and Member of the European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development has reacted with caution to Commissioner Ciolos’ long awaited legislative proposal on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy.
 
Speaking from Brussels the Ireland East MEP stated:
 
“It is clear that we need to ensure food security for European citizens and it is also clear that we need to ensure that European farmers get a fair and equitable return for their work”
 
“European agriculture needs a policy that will deliver a more competitive and sustainable sector. My initial view is that this Proposal will not give farmers the tools to deliver on the significant demands placed on them.”
 
“For Irish farmers, the devil will be in the detail and there will be an awful amount of uncertainty about reference years, greening and defining “active” farmers after today’s announcement and heading into the long negotiation process.”
 
“The proposals for supporting young farmers, small farmers, research and innovation in agriculture, cutting red tape and simplification are welcome and have much potential.”
 
“However I have serious concerns about the impact of compulsory greening measures and the problems that will certainly arise from the transition from historic payments to area based payments. The effect that this will have on Irish farmers in the intervening period is uncertain and likely to be the source of significant worry and concern.”
 
“Under the Lisbon Treaty the European Parliament Agriculture Committee , of which I am a Member, has equal say on the future of the Common Agriculture Policy.  The influence of MEPs on the future shape of this Report will be essential for addressing farmers concerns and creating a CAP that will work at the farm level for Irish farmers.”
 
“There is a long road of negotiations ahead for the CAP but in the interests of Irish farmers we must get to work on the details at all levels of the negotiation without delay.”