– The EU budget must be ‘fit for purpose’ to maintain competitiveness, increase growth and to combat high unemployment;
– Continued funding for the Common Agricultural Policy, the Common Fisheries Policy and Peace and Reconciliation is vital for Ireland and Irish economic recovery.
 
The European Parliament in June 2010 decided set up a special committee with a mandate to identify the priority spending areas for the EU budget for the period 2014 to 2020. Pat the Cope Gallagher MEP is a member of this important committee. The European Parliament in Strasbourg today adopted its final report by an overwhelming majority.
 
Pat the Cope Gallagher MEP said today “the EU budget post 2013 must be fit for purpose to maintain competitiveness, to increase economic growth and to combat high unemployment in Europe. I believe that agriculture and a strong, well resourced Common Agricultural Policy is central to this objective.”
 
“I fully support the call in the report to link agriculture to the Europe 2020 strategy as I firmly believe that the agriculture and food sector can make a valuable contribution to future economic growth in Ireland and across Europe.”
 
“That is why, it is essential that we protect and maintain the some 1.7 billion Euro which Ireland annually receives under the CAP. A strongly funded Common Agricultural Policy will protect Europe’s food security, contribute to our climate change targets and maintain employment in our rural communities.”
 
“I am pleased that the report recognises the role played by the fisheries and aquaculture sectors in maintaining employment in coastal, island and remote regions. I believe that we must direct more funding to these communities under the European Fisheries Fund post 2013.”
 
“The peace process in Ireland has benefited hugely from the EU budget. These programmes are also up for renegotiation in the context of the next Multi Financial Framework. I urge all Members to support the retention of these important programmes.”