Independent MEP Luke Ming Flanagan has said CAP needs to move away from historical payments. The Roscommon native made the comments as part of a discussion on CAP reforms held by the agricultural committee of the European Parliament on Monday.
“I will not be standing by a decision that fleeces one farmer over the other on the basis on what they might have been doing a quarter of a century ago,” he stated.
Flanagan also strongly criticised the European Commission’s proposal to have internal convergence reach 75% by 2026. He said the target should be to achieve 100% equality across all payments per hectare.
“Everyone in [the European Parliament] I would have thought were here to represent rural parts of their country, to represent farmers’ interests, and people who live in rural areas. I would have thought the best way to achieve that is we’d get full internal convergence at the very least by the end of 2026.
“In the initial proposal from the Commission, they only want to go 75%. The MEPs are the ones representing the people so you’d imagine they want to change that but there seems to be massive resistance to it.”
He said there appeared to be a logic in some countries, including Ireland, that farmers on “big payments” had the highest rates of production and agriculture would collapse without them.
“Many farmers getting over €1,000/ha actually produce less than the average farmer getting €250/ha. The most efficient farmers, the ones who have the best return per euro provided by the EU, are those on the average payment.”
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