The agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue has confirmed that Ireland’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Strategic Plan 2023-2027, has been formally resubmitted to the European Commission for approval.
The plan has not yet been published but Minister McConalogue said that his department “is already working to inform farmers of the details of the schemes and make the relevant preparations for the development of administrative and IT systems”.
Minister McConalogue said that he is confident the government has presented “a robust plan” which aims to preserve the viability of family farms in Ireland whilst “maximising the environmental and social sustainability of the sector”.
The plan has a budget commitment of almost €10 billion, which shows the government’s commitment to farmers the rural community, the minister said.
“I am pleased we have reached preliminary agreement on a CAP Strategic Plan for the period 2023-2027. This is another important milestone in the development of the plan, and a very important one,” he added.
The minister also outlined that the resubmission takes into account comments made by the Commission in March of this year, which came in an observation letter.
Minister McConalogue explained that DAFM officials met with stakeholders through the CAP Consultative Committee on three occasions. He said that the input and observations given at these meetings was vital throughout the process.
Conclusions drawn from other talks at ministerial and international levels are also reflected in the resubmission. The minister said:
“Discussions have been held at every level to reach this agreement, including a recent meeting I had with Commissioner Wojciechowski to discuss some of the more challenging elements.”
“The work will continue for the next few months, with the parallel processes of finalising the environmental assessments, while the Commission complete their internal reviews and legal processes.
A number of processes must still be carried out, which include final environmental, legal and administrative assessments. Concluding, the minister said:
“The final CAP Strategic Plan is the outcome of a collaborative process with all stakeholders and the commitment of my officials and the European Commission to develop a plan that will ensure the economic, environmental and social sustainability of the sector for the next five years.”