CAP proposals may be returned to committee for debate

The proposals for reforming the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) may yet be referred back to the EU Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development before being debated by the whole parliament.

The previous committee had already given its recommendations on the proposals earlier this year; however, these came too late for the parliament at large to discuss the proposals before it disbanded for the May elections.

At a consultative meeting on the proposals tonight, Thursday, October 3, in Portlaoise, a representative for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine outlined that the new parliament has two options.

Option one is to pick up where the last parliament left off, and proceed with a full parliamentary debate on CAP post-2020. The second option is to refer the proposals back to the new agriculture committee.

It is expected that the parliament’s chosen course of action will become clear within the next two weeks.

The same representative also said that it was “probably unlikely” that all member states would be ready to implement all the directives under the new CAP by the time it is due to take effect in January 2021.

For this reason, he said that it was likely that “transitional measures” will be necessary for those member states to move from this CAP to the new CAP post-2020.

Budget

It was also stressed at the meeting that the Government’s ambition was to “maximise the budget” for CAP, but that this was a “challenging situation”.

The competing views among member states on how the EU’s total budget should be used where highlighted – which are related to issues such as security and migration – with certain member states looking for a cut in the budget allocation for CAP.

According to the department official, Minister Michael Creed is attempting to collaborate with European leaders who share Ireland’s views on CAP funding to try to protect it.

“The negotiations around budget are going to be very challenging,” the official warned.