Interested patrons will now have the chance to contribute their thoughts on Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan 2023 to 2027 (CSP 2023-2027).

The consultation, announced by Minister Charlie McConalogue, will run for a four-week period starting immediately on Friday 30 July and closing on Friday 27 August.

Minister McConalogue said he wants to make the public consultation as accessible as possible in light of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

Town hall meetings

He said that central to achieving this aim is the hosting of two virtual 'town hall' meetings which will take place at 7pm on 11 and 12 August.

The other avenue to have your thoughts heard is via written submissions to the Department of Agriculture by post or email.

This can be sent to or CAP Rural Development Division, Agriculture House, Kildare Street, D02 WK12.

Submissions should be marked ‘Draft interventions for CAP Strategic Plan’.

Wide consultation welcomed

Minister McConalogue is welcoming the views of all stakeholders to the proposed draft interventions, which he describes as wide-ranging believes “will support farmers and rural communities to address the economic, environmental and social challenges that they face”.

“I have consistently said that I would consult widely to hear the views of all stakeholders in order to fully inform my decisions on, for example, redistribution of direct payments, capping and convergence of direct payments and on how best to achieve the economic, environmental and social objectives of the CAP.

"I look forward to all stakeholders, and the wider public, engaging in the process over the coming weeks.”

Green architecture

It has been well documented that the next CAP programme will move even further away from having a direct link to food production and have a greater emphasis on the environment and climate change.

This focus has been emphasised at the start of the consultation period and is reflected in the statement “there is a particularly strong emphasis on the achievement of a higher level of climate and environment ambition through a new 'Green architecture' that will operate across both direct payments and rural development interventions. Ireland proposes to put the CSP at the core of the transition to more sustainable agricultural and food systems”.

New delivery model

In addition, it was highlighted that the CSP 2023-2027 will represent a change in the manner in which it will be implemented.

“Instead of the familiar compliance-based approach followed previously, a new performance-based approach will be adopted. This will be underpinned by a ‘new delivery model’, under which member states’ performance will be judged on outputs and results, and on how their CSPs contribute to CAP objectives at EU level.

"The CSP will also take a more holistic approach, incorporating interventions under both Pillar I (direct payments and sectoral interventions) and Pillar II (rural development) into one overall plan," the Minister said.

CSP timeline

The Department of Agriculture states that responses received through the public consultation will be reflected in a draft version of the overall CSP, which will be submitted to external evaluators in early September.

When this document has been evaluated, an updated copy of the CSP will be made available for further consultation in October or November.

The final plan must then be submitted for Government approval in December before submitting to the European Commission by the deadline of 1 January 2022.

The Commission will then have a period of six to eight months to approve the plan, with the finalised CSP coming in to play on 1 January 2023.