‘CAP is done and dusted’

The Common Agriculture Reform (CAP) Reform for 2014-2020 is complete and Ireland’s implementation will be finalised within six week. 

Speaking at a press briefing at the National Ploughing Championships this morning, MEP Mairead McGuinness said: “I’m glad to say at Ploughing day two CAP is done and dusted.”

Political agreement between the three European institutions on reform of the CAP was reached under the Irish Presidency in June and final details have been agreed with the European Parliament yesterday evening following last-stage trialogue between the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Council.

McGuinness also confirmed that there will a reduction of five per cent on basic payments  over €150,000. Speaking to the press she said: “There will be a reduction of at least five per cent basic payments over €150,000. There will be allowances for labour costs, but it is a concession to the [European] Parliament who wants to cap certain payments level. The [European] Council was not so keen, but we got a compromise on that.”

In terms of the next step, the voting on the four packages will take place next Monday, direct payments, rural development, horizontal regulations and market organisation in Brussels.

The Irish MEP also warned of the critical importance of the last voting stages.

“It is a critical issue. If it does not all happen in this sequence, there could be a difficulty to payments to farmers next year because we need to put in place transitional rules, in other words we have the old schemes and new budgets. There is an awful lot of technical and political work to be done. But I’m glad to say at Ploughing day two CAP is done and dusted.”

In terms of its implementation, speaking to the press this morning Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney TD confirmed that details will be outlined within six weeks. The Department of Agriculture has received 37 responses in its CAP consultation process and ongoing discussions are under way.

In addition, the next Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 will be advanced in the Agriculture Department before the end of the year.

This was confirmed in the Dail yesterday. In terms of co-funding of Pillar 2, Minister Coveney in the Dail said: “It is too early for me to say we will have a 50:50 co-funding of all expenditure. However, I can assure the deputy we will be ensuring all of the EU money available under Pillar 2 will be fully drawn down.”

Yesterday’s full Oireachtas debates on Ireland’s rollout CAP are available here.