Minister of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine Charlie McConalogue is calling for flexibility from the European Commission on the implementation of the new CAP Strategic Plan at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council.
Speaking ahead of the meeting in Luxembourg, Minister McConalogue said, “in Ireland we have now launched most of the schemes envisaged under our 2023-2027 CAP Strategic Plan. My department is engaged in ongoing communication and collaboration with farmers and advisors on the rollout of these schemes, and it is now important that we have the time and stability for them to bed down and begin to achieve their objectives.”
“We will also need to be able to respond in a timely manner to any issues that give rise to amendments to the Plan, so today I will emphasise the need for the Commission to show the necessary flexibility and work closely with Member States to ensure that amendments are dealt with in a manner that allows the necessary administrative, IT and other support systems to be put in place.”
Minister McConalogue also noted the importance of ensuring clarity in relation to a number of elements of the Commission’s proposal on the certification of carbon removals. He said, “I welcome the proposed framework for the incentivisation of carbon farming activity. This proposal recognises the importance of rewarding farmers and land managers for their environmental ambition at farm level, including through the potential creation of additional income streams. We should also consider further integrating, within the Framework, actions that target other greenhouse gases such as methane.”
Other items on the Council’s agenda include the bioeconomy, a study on the use of invertebrate biological control agents (ICBAs), discussions on the establishment of new and lower maximum levels for PFAS in foodstuffs, and discussions on concerns about a draft legislative act on the sustainable use of plant protection products.
The meeting also discussed the current market situation in member states, particularly in light of the ongoing Russian war against Ukraine and a proposal to mitigate the impact of imports from Ukraine on EU markets.