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Minister Smith meets Polish Minister on WTO

In the margins of the FAO Conference in Rome, Brendan Smith TD, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, had a meeting with Polish Secretary of State, Andrzej Dycha.

The Ministers had a wide-ranging discussion on the current state of play on the WTO negotiations. They shared their concerns about the dangers posed to EU agriculture by the latest developments and agreed that the future of EU agriculture could not be sacrificed for the sake of a deal.

Following the meeting, Minister Smith said that he was pleased at the degree to which Irish views were reflected in the Polish position. "It is clear that both Member States have a shared sense of disquiet about some of the proposals currently on the table and that we are determined to make all efforts to ensure that the outcome of the negotiations does not undermine the future of the CAP." Minister Smith said.

The Ministers also had extensive discussions about the CAP Health Check. They agreed on the need to ensure a soft landing for the expiry of milk quotas and that this would best be achieved by steady, planned and predictable increases in quota. They also shared their views on the need for the retention of market management measures and on the importance of operational simplification.

Minister Smith concluded by saying that the meeting with Secretary Dycha had been extremely useful. He was very much heartened by the strong line taken by Poland on WTO. He was also encouraged by the similarities between the Irish and Polish positions on core elements of the Health Check. Minister Smith and Secretary Dycha agreed that they and their officials would remain in close contact over the coming months.

Date Released: 05 June 2008