Independent MEP Marian Harkin has urged the farmers’ organisations and others concerned with the agriculture and rural development sectors to be absolutely vigilant in monitoring the implementation of measures under the reformed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which was finally voted through in the European Parliament today, Wednesday, November 20th.
She said:- “Parliament has voted on the new CAP but those affected by it need to be aware that the way in which the policy will be implemented will be strongly influenced by the ‘delegated acts’ being developed by the European Commission.
“These acts will determine how both pillars of the policy will be implemented. For instance young farmers are to be assisted to establish enterprises but care is needed in determining who is a young active farmer in order to ensure that the Parliament’s objectives to redress the age profile problem in farming is effectively tackled.
“The original Commission proposal was so restrictive that it would exclude approximately two thirds of young farmers from the scheme. Similarly proposals on coupled support from the Commission limited the support to certain types of animals or crops instead of simply setting down the conditions for granting support to all animals and crops as listed in agreed proposals.
“There were further issues around the setting up of a national reserve and ecological focus areas. All of these issues need to be sorted out so that the political agreement between the Parliament and the Council remains intact.
“These are the details which down the line could cause problems and while they are not the big ticket items of the Single Farm Payment or the Pillar 2 schemes nonetheless we need to eliminate any inconsistencies so that we can start with a clear focus in 2014" MEP Harkin concluded.