MEP Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan has criticised the new proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), as recently launched by the European Commission, saying that from an environmental point of view, it is a “denial of reality”.
“Looking at what’s been agreed upon from a wider EU context, it’s very clear that for those countries who have already completed full convergence, this CAP has little to offer from the point of view of progress when it comes to financial fair play. From an environmental point of view, it is nothing short of a denial of reality”, he said.
“In Ireland’s case however, it is undeniable that significant further advancements have been made in this CAP reform when it comes to financial equality for over 72,000 farmers. Gains in convergence and the establishment of a mandatory redistributive payment, leave the Government with little choice but to implement a fairer CAP. The regulation also allows Minister McConalogue the freedom and flexibility that he spoke about to go even further with redistributive policies.
“On the environment, it gives the country an opportunity to fudge the challenge or alternatively, to step up and face reality. On land eligibility, it gives farmers in higher nature value areas the certainty to look at future challenges without the fear of being taken out of the system and sacrificed in favour of those in the more intensive sectors,” he added.
MEP Flanagan said factory farming has been prioritised over family farming.
“One of the big-ticket items up for discussion at the negotiations was capping. Well let’s cut to the chase. Capping is now living in the same residence as the dodo. The proposal agreed upon at the Trialogue negotiations is meaningless when it comes taking money from those that are receiving obscenely large sums. The possibility of taking labour costs into account flies in the face of social justice and facilitates factory farming over the family-farming model.
“I heard the line over and over again from Minister McConalogue that he didn’t want to have his hands tied and that Ireland should decide what’s best for its own farmers. This agreed regulation offers him that opportunity. He has the freedom and flexibility to go for full convergence. He has the freedom to complete it sooner than the latest possible date of 2026. He has the freedom to take front loading further than 10% without any strings attached. Now let him do it. I’ll be watching him every step of the way. He needs watching,” concluded MEP Flanagan.