The European Commission’s initial observation letter on Ireland’s CAP strategic plan has been published by the Department of Agriculture on Thursday, with the letter now publicly viewable on the Department’s website.

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has stated that the plan seeks to improve environmental parameters after Brussels said that further ambition was needed.

“I am confident that our CAP plan is robust and is cognisant of food security as well as driving improvements in biodiversity, water quality and the overall climate,” said Minister McConalogue

“It is a complex CAP plan that is focused on delivering on these ambitions, while also seeking to improve farm incomes,” he explained.

Ongoing engagement

The minister stated that the Department had already engaged with the Commission around technical aspects of the feedback.

The initial response from the Department is expected to be issued within days, according to the minister.

“As I indicated previously, we are currently working through the observations, which are lengthy, with a view to making an initial high-level response to the Commission over the coming days,” Minister McConalogue went on.

“The Commission is expected to formally publish its letter, together with our initial response, after Easter.

“Technical engagement with the Commission on the observations has already commenced, and will continue in earnest after the Easter break, with a view to having the plan approved as soon as possible,” he said.

To read the plan in full, click here.


Minister McConalogue also announced the publication of the ex-ante evaluation of Ireland’s draft plan.

"This has been shared with stakeholders, together with the Commission’s observations letter. Arrangements have been made for the CAP Stakeholder Consultative Committee to discuss these latest developments at the end of this month, and engagement with stakeholders will continue as the approval process unfolds," the minister remarked.