CAP is core issue says Coveney

By Minister Simon Coveney

Minister Simon Coveney TD has said: “The defence of our Common
Agricultural Policy funding remains at the core of the Irish
Government’s stance in the negotiations on the seven-year EU budget.”

He was speaking after new proposals emerged in Brussels for a cut in
the budget figures originally proposed by the European Commission.
“The Tánaiste made the Government’s position very clear at
negotiations in the General Affairs Council on Monday and Tuesday, as
will of course the Taoiseach at the European Council next Thursday and
Friday.”

“It is clear that the negotiations on the new budget will be complex
and challenging” Minister Coveney said “but we are determined to
protect the CAP to the maximum extent possible.  We are forcefully
making the point that the food industry is the largest manufacturing
industry in Europe and that any budget focused on jobs and growth must
respect this fact.”

The Minister also underlined the importance of the CAP to our own
economy.  “The CAP is the source of large net budget transfers from
the EU to Ireland, and this is undeniably very important, particularly
in our current economic circumstances.  But equally important is the
fact that these payments provide an important underpinning for the
significant growth in the Irish agri-food sector that we envisage
between now and 2020, as set out in our Food Harvest strategy.  We
believe that this growth could deliver in the region of 25,000 jobs in
this country.  It is for this reason above all that we will be
resolute in our support for the CAP and insistent on protecting
Ireland’s share of it.”