17th September, 2012
ICSA president Gabriel Gilmartin is to emphasise to Commissioner Ciolos that the “approximation approach” to CAP reform put forward by Ireland and supported by several other states is the only realistic way of achieving an acceptable outcome to CAP reform talks. Mr. Gilmartin was speaking in advance of the visit to Ireland by EU Farm Commissioner Dacian Ciolos next Friday where he will be welcomed to Ardee by EU MEP, Mairead McGuinness.
“From the very start, ICSA has been clear that the flat rate might sound good in theory but it cannot work in practice in the Irish context. ICSA has also emphasised that there can be no going back to the old coupled payments which were ideal for factories but disastrous for prices.
“It is therefore clear that the approximation approach which means significant reductions only for those with the highest payments, and very minor adjustments for farmers who are marginally above the average is the only acceptable compromise. Going to a flat rate by 2019 would totally destroy the viability of many of our most productive farmers. On the other hand, the approximation approach frees up the possibility for better payments for young and active farmers below the average to get a worthwhile increase.”