Wednesday, 2 November 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
387. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the degree to which he has established support for the Common Agricultural Policy throughout Europe with particular reference to the need to ensure that food production is recognised as a major component in Ireland and Europe’s economic framework; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31926/11]
388. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he expects to receive sufficient support from throughout the European Union for the Common Agricultural Policy and that such will not be undermined by World Trade Organization negotiations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31927/11]
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 387 and 388 together. There is good support from my colleagues in the EU Council of Agriculture Ministers for the Common Agricultural Policy. Over recent years an alliance of some 14 Member States, including Ireland, has pressed on a continuous basis for a strong CAP and to defend EU agricultural interests in the WTO. Indeed this alliance has been augmented from time to time by support from additional Member States. It is worth noting that the conclusions drawn up earlier this year by the Hungarian EU Presidency seeking a strong CAP with resources commensurate with its objectives gained the support of twenty Member States. These Member States also agreed that one of the three main objectives for the future CAP should be to ensure viable food production. They also endorsed the other objectives of sustainable management of natural resources and climate action as well as balanced territorial development.
As to the WTO Doha Development Round, talks are stalled at present and the prospects for conclusion of an agreement are uncertain at this point in time. Nevertheless, I will continue to maintain pressure to secure an acceptable outcome from these negotiations that does not undermine the development of European and Irish agriculture.
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