The framing of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) beyond 2013 will be filling much of South Kilkenny MEP Liam Aylward’s workload in Brussels over the coming months.
And with the EU’s Agriculture budget set to come “under attack” in his view, he and his fellow Irish MEPs will have both gloves on when it comes to defending the interests of our farmers.
“We now have 27 member states negotiating as opposed to the 15 when last CAP was negotiated,” Mr Aylward told The Munster Express.
“The Eastern countries that have joined the EU since then feel that they haven’t got a fair deal up to now regarding CAP and they’re looking for a flat rate payment per hectare.
“The new Commissioner (Dacian Ciolos) is from Romania and he would have to be seen to be deliver to that particular constituency.
“So we’re looking at increased internal pressure on a probably reduced budget – which we’re not yet conceding but that’s what’s probably going to happen – and then you also have a further division to deal with between the northern and southern states.”
So what is the Irish position ahead of the pending CAP debate?
See The Munster Express newspaper for full story.