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Minister Coughlan comments on publication of EU Commission Communication on CAP Health Check

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., today commented on publication by the EU Commission of its Communication on preparation for the Health Check of the CAP. "I anticipate detailed and intensive negotiations on the Health Check over the next twelve months or so" the Minister said.

The Health Check of the CAP arises from planned reviews of the milk quota regime and the operation of the Single Payment Scheme.

Minister Coughlan said this was an ideal opportunity to pursue her objective of reducing the administrative burden on farmers by simplifying in a genuine and practical manner the requirements of the Single Payment system. She also recalled that Commissioner Fischer Boel has frequently stated that the Health Check is not intended to fundamentally change the CAP. "I strongly agree with this point" she said. "I firmly believe that farmers need a period of policy stability to adapt to the new decoupled payments regime".

The Minister announced that she will establish a consultative committee to advise her on the health check. This group will work in parallel with the consultative group already announced on dairy quotas. It will include all the main industry stakeholders with an interest in the issues encompassed by the Health Check.

20 November, 2007

Date Released: 20 November 2007