Positive meeting with Ciolos on CAP implementation
Tuesday, 17 September, 2013
Ulster Farmers’ Union President Harry Sinclair has described a meeting today (17 September) with EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos as “positive” and “constructive”. The focus of the meeting, organised by MEP Jim Nicholson, was to discuss the implementation of the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in Northern Ireland.
Speaking from Brussels, Harry Sinclair said; “The CAP provides essential support to our farming industry. It enables farmers to produce affordable food, look after the countryside, create jobs and maintain rural communities, which is why it is of the utmost importance that we get the new CAP right. In June, the EU Commission, the EU Parliament, and the EU Agriculture Council reached a political agreement on the new CAP and while overall it is a workable deal for Northern Ireland there are still some issues that need to be addressed. Specifically, we need clarity around what it means to actively farm the land. The EU Commission is crystal clear that the new CAP must be targeted at those actively farming and failing to do so will result in hefty penalties. We spent most of the meeting with Commissioner Ciolos today discussing this issue in detail and I believe the Commissioner is fully committed to helping to find a practical solution for Northern Ireland.
“There is still further work to be done but I am encouraged that the Commissioner has asked his staff to ensure that this issue is sorted out in the next couple weeks.”