CAP: ‘It’s not fair to ask farmers to do more for less financial support’

It’s not fair to ask farmers to do more for less financial support, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, said at a recent ‘mini-summit‘ on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Earlier today (Thursday, May 31), the minister met with a number of other European agriculture ministers in Madrid, Spain, who were against the proposed cuts to the CAP post-2020 recently revealed by the European Commission.

Ministers from Spain, France, Portugal, Greece and Finland were present at the meeting.

Commenting at the ‘mini-summit’, Minister Creed said: “Of course we recognise that Europe faces many challenges, not least in the area of Brexit for example – which is a significant challenge in terms of the funding of Europe; but there are also challenges in the areas of migration and security.

What our core message is that we recognise those challenges, but that is not a reason to dismantle what has been – probably – the single most successful policy that Europe has had since its foundation and which has shown a capacity to develop and respond to the challenges of our times.

He argued that the challenges facing Europe today are as significant as those faced in the past.

A concern for European citizens

Concerns around the funding of the CAP will spread much wider than just farmers and agriculture ministers, he explained.

Continuing, Minister Creed said: “The CAP benefits farmers, but it also benefits the broader community.

“What I and my colleagues will be trying to do over the coming days and weeks – and time is of the essence – is to convince other colleagues at council that, by force of our argument, the commission needs to think again and provide more funding for the CAP.

Put simply, it’s not reasonable or fair to ask farmers to do more and more and more in terms of all the things that we demand and expect from the CAP and the public goods that we require, for less and less financial support.

“That is the essence of the message that I think will resonate with not just farmers but also with the citizens of Europe.”

The meeting of agriculture ministers comes the day before the European Commission is set to publish its legislative proposals for CAP reform post-2020.