Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has stressed the need to provide maximum flexibility for member states in future CAP, and for the framework to be as simple as possible for farmers.

The calls came during the Agriculture and Fisheries Council of Ministers meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, where Minister McConalogue welcomed the progress made to date on the CAP negotiations.

“We need to have the scope within the CAP to tailor our approach in accordance with national and local farming conditions,” Minister McConalogue said.

Simplification for farmers

Minister McConalogue, along with 13 other member states, presented a paper calling for simplification.

We should be able to protect EU funds fully within a clear and simplified new delivery model

“We should bear in mind from the outset that the new delivery model for the CAP has to support simplification, for member state administrations and especially for our farmers,” Minister McConalogue continued.

“We should be able to protect EU funds fully within a clear and simplified new delivery model, while still having the flexibility to for example deal fairly and proportionately with farmers who have made errors in good faith.”

With regard to the targeting of direct payments, Minister McConalogue reiterated his support of capping.

Speaking on the market supports elements of the CAP, Minister McConalogue called for the maintenance of support measures under the common market organisation regulation as had been agreed by the Council.

The Minister questioned a number of the parliament’s amendments that would undermine the voluntary nature of any future volume reduction schemes.

He also noted Ireland’s concerns about the proposals “which could impose penalties on farmers that run counter to the principle of market orientation, and could fundamentally undermine the existing voluntary nature of volume reduction schemes”.