Farmers unite behind Lisbon (June 25th, 2009)

June 25, 2009 at 5:31 pm Leave a comment

The Leinster branch of the Irish Farmers’ Association has this week highlighted the importance of supporting the Lisbon Treaty in order to strengthen Ireland’s bargaining power in EU farm matters. If the Treaty is ratified in October, the European Parliament will have equal say, or ‘co-decision’ on agriculture along with the European Commission. This will mean an enhanced role for MEPs in determining the future of the Common Agricultural Policy.
Speaking this week, IFA Regional President JJ Kavanagh said Leinster farmers clearly recognise the necessity of building political support for sustainable agricultural policies for Ireland. ‘Irish MEPs will play a critical role in securing a beneficial outcome for us in the CAP post 2013,’ he said.
Ireland East is lucky to have two MEPs on the Agriculture Committee, where they can wield the most influence on farm policy. Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness, who is tipped for a senior position on the committee, said the importance of a ‘Yes’ vote to Lisbon cannot be underestimated. ‘Irish farmers, particularly dairy farmers, are in very dire straits at the moment. They need support and a strong voice advocating for them, and if Lisbon is passed it will be more crucial than ever that farm groups work closely with MEPs,’ she said.
Fianna Fáil MEP Liam Aylward says his main priority on the committee will be to negotiate the EU’s farm budget in order protect the interests of Irish farm families, rural communities and the Irish food sector.

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Entry filed under: Agriculture and the EU.

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