Courtesy of his letter confirming Phil Hogan’s nomination as Europe’s new Farm Commissioner, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has told the Kilkenny man that he believes the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to be a crucial tool in delivering future food security in tandem with jobs and economic growth.

The President added: “The CAP contributes to the sustainable development of Europe’s agriculture and to ensuring the well-being of our rural areas. Since a reform has just been decided upon, your first challenge will be to implement it in a proactive manner as part of our key priorities. Production patterns and structures in EU agriculture must adapt to take into account world-wide population growth, income disparities and the scarcity of natural resources and climate change. These challenges also bring new opportunities for our agricultural sector.”

Over the next five years Jean-Claude Juncker wants Phil Hogan to concentrate on the following issues:

  1. Contributing, as part of the project team steered and coordinated by the Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, to the jobs, growth and investment package to be presented within the first three months of our mandate. You should in particular focus on ensuring that rural development spending is well integrated into jobs- and growth-generating investment strategies at national and regional level.
  2. Implementing the recently agreed CAP reform so as to maximise its contribution to our jobs and growth agenda, paying particular attention to the principle of subsidiarity and to issues linked to the flexibility and simplification of CAP instruments.
  3. Within the first twelve months, reviewing the potential for further simplification in the areas of direct payments and in particular as regards greening, rural development, quality policy and the fruit and vegetables scheme.
  4. Renewing efforts in the agricultural sector to contribute to energy efficiency and emissions reductions, also in the light of progress on climate action at EU and global level.
  5. Regularly monitoring the benefit of action at EU level, reviewing the effectiveness of spending programmes and reporting back on the performance of the programmes and the results achieved.
  6. Supervising expenditure in line with the financial regulation and the principles of sound financial management, always protecting the EU budget from fraud.
  7. Contributing to the 2016 review of the Multiannual Financial Framework by identifying way