Speaking during the European Affairs Committee Meeting yesterday, May 24th, Fine Gael TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Deputy Joe O’Reilly raised the issue of the Common Agricultural Policy with Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton TD.
Minister Creighton attended a preparatory meeting with the EU Affairs Committee to outline the programme of the next European Council Meeting with the Committee members. Speaking to Minister Creighton during the meeting, Deputy O’Reilly emphasised the point that maintaining the same CAP Budget was a key strategic interest for Ireland and is very important for the future of the Irish Agri -Sector.
‘Maintaining the same CAP Budget is most important from an Irish perspective. Most people in Ireland live both directly and indirectly from the land and the Agri-Food industry is a key component in our economy. I would ask the Minister if she would be confident that she could maintain the current level of CAP for Ireland’ stated the Deputy.
Deputy O’Reilly also stressed three important objectives when we secure our CAP funding; ‘I would ask the Minister the try to achieve, what I feel are three very important objectives, when we secure our CAP funding; to achieve support for small farmers in the interests of fairness across the board, at the same time try to achieve support for food production and that the discretionary of spending the CAP money should be at an Irish level and not come with too many restrictions on it. We need to achieve a balance between providing support for small farmers and larger farmers so that we can support our smaller farmers, support food production and work to achieve the 2020 targets. The discretion over the spending of the money should be taken at national and at local level. We know what is best and the CAP budget should not come with too many restrictions on it’.
Responding to Deputy O’Reilly, Minister Creighton said that she was very confident that we will hold on to our share of the CAP budget. This is something that she will be discussing in depth during the multi-annual financial programme in Europe. Food security, from a consumer point of view will continue. The Minister agreed with the Deputy on the principal that subsidiarity was an object that will be achieved.’

Senator Joe O'Reilly representing Cavan & Monaghan 2010. | An ExSite website