IFA President John Bryan has welcomed the strong defence of the CAP budget from the head of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, Joseph Daul MEP.
Mr Daul, who addressed a special meeting of the IFA Executive Council in Adare, Co Limerick last week, said “the amounts devoted to agriculture over the coming years cannot be less than the amounts allocated for the Budget year 2013”.
For the first time, the European Parliament has co-decision powers on the outcome of the current CAP negotiations. Mr Daul told the members of the Executive Council and the main commodities that the voice of the countryside remains very strong in the European Parliament.
He said, “In the Parliament, we will not commit ourselves to anything until we are shown the money. We have made it our new mantra – ‘No money, no vote’.”
Mr Daul referred to the report prepared by this colleague Albert Dess. “There is a strong emphasis on the need to simplify the CAP, a reduction in bureaucracy and an emphasis on food security,” he said.
The head of the EPP added he was aware of Ireland’s concerns about the proposed shift towards a flat-rate system. “I am confident, and I want to reassure you that we will find an appropriate solution,” he said.
Mr Daul said that his group will insist that rural development measures should principally benefit farmers and stressed the importance of a ‘Yes’ vote in the upcoming Referendum on the Stability Treaty.