Mairead McGuinness, Matt Carthy and Luke 'Ming' Flanagan MEP have all been confirmed as members of the new European Parliament committee on agriculture.

The committee will play a crucial role in developing the next Common Agriculture Policy (CAP).

Matt Carthy and Luke 'Ming' Flanagan are from the Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) and in total they have three MEPs on the committee.

Protect CAP budget

“The reform of the CAP is going to be the base of the committee. It’s more or less being put on hold until the EU/MFF budget is being agreed,” Matt Carthy told the Irish Farmers Journal.

He pointed out that the Parliament would have a lot to consider when the UK left Europe and that he wanted to ensure that the agriculture budget was not cut.

“The first thing we have to do is protect the budget overall,” Carthy said.

“But it’s an important time to ensure that CAP remains a robust tool to support farmers.”

Carthy said that he believed part of ensuring that CAP worked for farmers was to utilise full convergence of payment.

“There needs to be a redistribution of CAP and the only proposal on the table that allows that is a convergence model,” he said.

European People's Party

The majority of members on the agriculture committee are from the European People’s Party (EPP), with 12 people on the committee.

Mairead McGuinness is a member of the EPP and has also been re-elected as first vice-president of the European Parliament.

"I will continue to act in the best interests of European citizens, of those in Ireland and in my constituency of Midlands North-West," McGuinness said.

Northern Ireland’s MEP Diane Dodds is also on the committee.

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