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Smith meets EU Commissioner on CAP

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries & Food Brendan Smith TD today met EU Agriculture Commissioner, Dacian Ciolos, to discuss the upcoming negotiations on the CAP after 2013.

After the meeting, the Minister said: "I emphasised to the Commissioner the need both for a properly resourced common policy and for continued income support for our farmers. Direct payments form a vitally important role in supporting and stabilising our farmers' incomes and in rewarding them for the environmental and other benefits which they produce.  I also underlined the importance of measures to encourage competitiveness and the adaptation required at farm level to the ending of milk quotas" The Minister said that he was pleased to receive a very positive response from the Commissioner on these issues.

This latest meeting with Commissioner Ciolos is one of series that Minister Smith is holding with the Commission and with colleagues in other Members States as part of a determined effort to defend Ireland's, and Irish farmers', very significant CAP interests.

Minister Smith is in Brussels for a meeting of EU agriculture ministers which discussed a report from a high level group on the dairy sector.  "Dairy farmers came through an extremely difficult period last year and I welcome the initiative of the Commission in establishing this group.  I am particularly pleased that the group recognised the benefit of the existing market support measures, such as intervention and aid to private storage, and I would see this as being significant for the negotiations on CAP post-2013" the Minister said. "At today's meeting, I also welcomed the proposals in the report to explore the possible use of other policy and market instruments, as price volatility is likely to continue in global commodity markets, and we need to have innovative and effective mechanisms in place to deal with it."

Minister Smith will meet Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht later today to discuss a number of agricultural trade issues including WTO and the recently restarted negotiations with the Mercosur countries.

Date Released: 12 July 2010