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Minister welcomes agreement at Agriculture Council

Speaking from the EU Council Building in Brussels, Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill welcomed the agreement reached late last night on the direction of CAP Reform.
Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The Minister said: “After more than two days of intense negotiations, EU Agriculture Ministers have agreed a Council mandate setting out their approach to CAP Reform. The Irish Presidency will now take this forward to the trilogue negotiations between the Presidency on behalf of the Council, the European Parliament and the EU Commission.

“While there are one or two elements with which I would not entirely agree, I have to say that overall the position reached by the Council is fairly well aligned with the position I outlined almost a year ago in my formal response to the Commission’s original proposals. The most notable improvements have been in terms of delivering significant regional flexibility and in providing a greening framework that is more appropriate to a predominantly grass-based agricultural region. Therefore I believe that this is a good basis from which to enter the trilogues.

“I will of course continue to argue vigorously for the outcome I want to achieve on behalf of the north as the Reform process moves forward to the crucial trilogue stage. I very much hope we arrive at a final deal by the end of June, as planned by the Irish Presidency, which will then allow us to proceed to design an agricultural and rural support framework tailored to meeting our local needs.”

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