European Parliament Elections: Changed times for agri business? – ICOS

The recent EU elections have signalled that many people in Ireland and across Europe are unhappy with the way Brussels and their national governments are run since the crisis, according to The Irish Co-operative Society (ICOS).

In its latest newsletter it said: “While agri-business was not a major theme in the elections, there was a lot of questioning of the EU budget of which agriculture commands around a 40% share, and comprises of circa 80% of the funds that we in Ireland get from the EU.”

“In terms of Irish members of the key European parliament Agri committee, Liam Aylward (FF) retired and Phil Prendergast (Lab) lost her seat, but Mairead McGuinness (FG) and Marian Harkin (Ind) were re-elected. We hope that they will apply to remain on in the committee, and perhaps will be joined by some of the newly elected MEPs.”

ICOS highlighted that: “Sinn Fein will be a major force returning four MEPs from the island, and we will be hoping that they will be positively disposed to the co-operative farmer owned enterprise model.”

“From Northern Ireland, both agri members Jim Nicholson (UUP) and Diane Dodds (DUP) were easily returned, alongside Martin Anderson of Sinn Féin.”

ICOS stressed that it will continue to strongly support our MEPs where ever possible and would be delighted to see a candidate emerge for chair of the agriculture committee.