Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has called for flexibility from the European Commission in the early years of the roll-out of Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan (CSP) 2023-2027.

He said such flexibility is needed as the Department of Agriculture sets out to “introduce the processes to meet the requirements of the new delivery model”.

The Minister was speaking at Monday’s Agriculture and Fisheries Council (AGRIFISH) meeting in Brussels, where he is joined by his equivalents from other EU member states.

'Challenging' timeframe

With European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski still announcing the approval of some member state CAP plans, Minister McConalogue pointed out that “Ireland was fortunate to be in the first batch of plans approved” in August.

“Preparing the CSP in such a challenging timeframe was very difficult. There will be a need for flexibility in the early years as we introduce the processes to meet the requirements of the new delivery model,” he said.


The Minister described the CAP’s ‘area monitoring system’ as an example which will be a “step-change for farmers and for member state administrations”.

“This will require all farmers to engage with and become familiar with new processes and to react in a timely manner to any queries raised by my Department. We will assist farmers in this process and I know the advisory service will play an important role too.

“However, we will need to be flexible and adaptive in this and other areas as we work through the initial phases of strategic plan implementation. The implementation of the CAP must be farmer-friendly which provides farmers with maximum clarity as we move towards a new system,” he said.


Monday’s council in Brussels is also set to discuss the market situation following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The Minister said he remains “concerned in relation to the price and availability of fertilisers, and its potential impact on the 2023 harvest”.

“I will continue to support measures into 2023, but this is a situation that must remain under ongoing and close scrutiny.”

Animal welfare

EU animal welfare legislation will also be on the agenda which Minister McConalogue acknowledged is in need of a “review”.

“EU animal welfare legislation has been in place for some time. It is essential that any new legislative proposals should be informed by science, using the most up-to-date scientific knowledge.

“As new proposals are prepared, it will also be essential to avoid negative impacts on the operation of the single market,” he said.

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