CAP proposals must add ‘a new shade of green’ to Irish agriculture

IRELAND East MEP has today called on the European Parliament and Agricultural ministers to get rid of the red tape when reform proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy pass to MEPs and the European Council over the next 18 months.

IRELAND East MEP has today called on the European Parliament and Agricultural ministers to get rid of the red tape when reform proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy pass to MEPs and the European Council over the next 18 months.

Ms Childers commented, “The proposals published by the Commission today will go to the Parliament for amendment in the next few months, and will then ping-pong between MEPs and the European Council until at least 2013. So there’s a long way to go with this and in many ways the battle over European agricultural policy has only just begun.

“What I want to see is less bureaucracy around the current proposals to green the CAP. The document published today is full of good ideas but I’m less hopeful over the means put forward to realise them. The bureaucracy which has clouded EU subsidies over the years has not been reduced here but in some areas enhanced. This could seriously disincentivise Irish farmers to take advantage of the subsidies on offer to green their farms.

The MEP continued by saying that Irish people care about biodiversity in the countryside.

“No-one wants to see hedgerows, rural wildlife or the small, family farms which have characterised Irish agriculture over the years disappear. In this regard, the proposals are to be commended for attempting to protect such tradition in the face of strong lobbying from large industrial farming.

“Irish farmers traditionally qualify for strong farm support, and in recent years have been proactive in greening their farms to take advantage of incentives offered by both the European Commission and the Irish government.”

In conclusion Ms Childers called on the parties involved not to kill the momentum

“When the CAP moves to the European Parliament, I will work with my collegues to remove bureaucratic restrictions and make green agriculture accessible to farmers Ireland.”