ICSA WELCOMES ROBUST DEFENCE OF DIRECT PAYMENTS IN BRUSSELS IN FACE OF COURT OF AUDITORS CRITICISMS

21 NOVEMBER 2018

ICSA president Patrick Kent has welcomed the robust defence of the CAP – particularly direct payments – mounted by EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan in response to the criticisms of the CAP reform proposals by the European Court of Auditors (ECA). Mr Kent was attending the European Parliament agriculture committee meeting today (Wednesday 21 November) in Brussels where officials from the ECA outlined their opinion on the CAP reform.

“The point is not that there is no room for improvement on the proposals but there is a real concern that the Court of Auditors are going beyond auditing duties and making very political points about  the value of direct payments to farmers.  It was notable that many MEPs including the Irish MEPs on ComAgri – Mairead McGuinness, Matt Carthy and Luke Ming Flanagan – were also vocal in outlining the importance of direct payments.”

“The danger is that there are individuals and bodies in Europe who would prefer to sideline the  original objective outlined in the Treaty of Rome to provide farmers with a fair standard of living. This is a worrying trend. However, the critical point is that the Court of Auditors needs to be an auditor and not a policy maker, which is the role of the Commission, the Parliament and the Council.”

ENDS