Speaking at the Council of Agriculture Ministers meeting in Luxembourg today (Monday), Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed TD supported the environmental ambition of the Commission proposals for a post 2020 CAP, but pointed to the need for a strong CAP budget if those ambitions are to be realised.
“Our ambitions for the environment and for the agriculture sector are two sides of the same coin, but we cannot continue to ask farmers to do more and more while at the same time proposing to cut the CAP budget.”
Minister Creed also held key bilateral meetings on the margins of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Luxembourg with his Danish and Spanish counterparts to discuss Brexit, CAP Reform and Fisheries priorities.
Minister Creed met the Danish Minister for Fisheries Eva Kjer Hansen on Brexit. Both Ministers agreed to continue to work together over the upcoming critical period to deliver on the EU guidelines for a future relationship in respect of fisheries.
Minister Creed also held a bilateral with the Spanish Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Luis Planas Puchades. The Ministers discussed the development of CAP strategic plans, the importance of maintaining a strong CAP budget and the significant value of delivering on the environmental ambition underpinning the future of the CAP. The Ministers also discussed key concerns with regard to Brexit.
“I welcome the understanding that both Ministers demonstrated in our discussions today with regard to Brexit and its impact on both the Irish agri-food and fisheries sectors. There is a strong appreciation of the Irish concerns in the context of Brexit negotiations and I very much welcome the ongoing support provided by my Danish and Spanish colleagues in this regard.”
Ministers Creed and Planas also reviewed challenging issues facing both Member States in advance of the full introduction of the discards ban on 1 January 2019 and setting quotas at the December fisheries Council that supports the practical delivery of this challenging policy.
Minister Creed addressed the setting of the Mackerel total allowable catch (TAC) and quotas for 2019 in a situation where the scientific advice advocates a 61% cut from 2018.
Minister Creed said, “We need to take full account of the concerns from the scientists themselves about this year’s advice and take account of the socio-economic importance of the Mackerel fishery when deciding on a TAC for 2019. We must work closely at an EU level with Norway and the Faroe Islands, our partners in the management agreement, to reach a balanced outcome that avoids undue inter-annual fluctuation in the management of the stock”.
Original Press Release, click here.