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Written Answers - Common Agricultural Policy

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 755 No. 1

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 15.  Deputy Denis Naughten Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten  asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney  the steps he is taking to construct an alliance at member state level to support Ireland’s case for reform of common agricultural policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7007/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Since I took up office in March of last year, I have made it a priority to build up alliances with my counterparts in like-minded Member States in order to garner support for my position on the proposed reform of the CAP. Last year I had formal bilateral meetings with the EU Agriculture Commissioner and with my German, French, UK, Spanish, Estonian, Finnish and Danish Ministerial colleagues. I also took the opportunity to meet with my Ministerial colleagues from the other Member States and the EU Commission at the EU Council of Agriculture Ministers meetings held each month in Brussels or Luxemburg and at the Informal Ministerial Councils held in Hungary and Poland. In November of last year I addressed a meeting of the Agricultural Committee of the European Parliament and last month I had the pleasure of hosting a second visit to Ireland of the EU Agriculture Commissioner.

Over the coming months I plan to intensify these contacts. I have meetings scheduled later this month with a number of members of the Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament and with Irish MEPs. Next month I will host a visit to Ireland by the Finnish Minister for Agriculture.

As negotiations develop, and, particularly in the run-up to the Irish Presidency of the EU in the first half of 2013, I will continue to engage actively with Ministerial colleagues from other Member States, the Commissioner and Members of the European Parliament. My intention is to maintain and develop alliances with like-minded Member States to secure the best possible outcome for Ireland in the CAP reform negotiations.

[103]I should add that my contacts at Ministerial level are supplemented by a parallel process of detailed engagement at official level by my Department with counterparts from the Commission, European Parliament and other Member States.

Question No. 16 answered with Question No. 11.

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