CAP talks are entering a crucial stage
Sinn Fein MEP, Chris MacManus, who is a member of the European Parliament’s negotiating team on the new CAP package, estimates we are looking at a final agreement in the next 6-77 weeks.
Mr MacManus commented: “The current timetable is to reach an agreement by the end of May. Although we are on track to meet this target, my concern is what kind of agreement we will walk away with. I will only support the final text if it delivers on key areas for Irish farmers, primarily the guarantee of a fair standard of living.
“The Council’s current position of 85% convergence is insufficient to rebalance the scales between those on high and low entitlements. My position is that we must complete the process of full convergence by the end of the programming period,” he said.
“The European Parliament negotiating team backs this position, but in these final weeks they will have to face down increasing demands for comprise by the Council.
“I am aware some family farmers will lose money through full convergence, but the new CAP offers us the opportunity to put this money back and more, through targeting them for increased support, when divvying up the new redistributive payment.