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Coveney Supports EU Agreement on CAP Reform

Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food Simon Coveney TD today said he had supported the agreement on the broad approach to CAP reform reached by a majority of delegations at yesterdays meeting of  EU Agriculture Ministers. Minister Coveney said that while he was not happy with every detail in the agreement he felt that it had usefully advanced the Irish position in these negotiations which are expected to continue for another two years. The Council agreed by qualified majority to a set of formal Conclusions which set out the Ministers general thinking on the shape of future CAP reform.  Work will now continue on translating this into detailed legislative proposals on which agreement is unlikely until late 2012 at the earliest.

Minister Coveney said he particularly welcomed the commitment to a strong common policy with commensurate financial resources. He said the agreement to support flexibility for Members States in decisions about the distributions of CAP funds between farmers within each member state reflected the particular Irish concern on this point.

The Minister said the text on the crucial issue of the distribution of funds between Member States had been negotiated with great difficulty during the meeting but the final text adequately reflected the Irish view on how such redistribution should be undertaken. "We are strongly defending Ireland's current allocation of CAP funds" said Minister Coveney "and we are engaged in very detailed and delicate discussions with the commission and other Member States in order to do this". Minister Coveney said the text in the agreed conclusions, while phrased in language that many would find rather impenetrable, favoured the technical approach to the redistribution favoured by Ireland and most likely to lead to the protection of Irish funds.

Date Released: 18 March 2011