My lead committee is Agriculture and the key issue for me is ensuring the maximum number of viable family farms. Negotiations on CAP are the key issue at the moment and are likely to continue for many months. I will use my position to push for solutions that have family farming and rural regeneration at their core and that will provide a fairer income for farmers in return for top quality and sustainable food production.
The three institutions of the EU, the Commission, Parliament and Council, have each set out their respective positions. The talks have now entered the “Trilogue” stage where the three institutions come together to agree a common position. Some of the sticking points include:
- Funding for young farmers
- Capping of direct payments
- Internal convergence
- Coupled income support
- Portion of direct payments allocated to
Once this is complete it will go to each country to develop their own “Strategic Plan” for the role out of the CAP. These “Strategic Plans” are a new element and were not part of any previous CAP. It is vital that we ensure to protect farm incomes while at the same time working to protect our environment against the effects of climate change.
Working for Young Farmers
As former President of Macra na Feirme, the interests of young farmers are close to my heart. Generational renewal needs to be central to all future European policy initiatives. For the first time, the CAP acknowledges that crucial work needs to be carried out on generational renewal in the agricultural sector.
I will work tirelessly with my colleagues in the European Parliament to help secure:
- 4% of the national envelope is allocated to young farmers
- Instruments are available to help young people start and develop their farming activities
Farmers are rewarded for their environmental contributions