November 23, 2021
MacManus votes in support of CAP deal

MacManus votes in support of CAP deal

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus, member of the European Parliament’s Agricultural Committee, today voted in favour of the new CAP agreement. The agreement was comfortably passed with 452 in favour to 178 against. MacManus stated though while not fully satisfied with the new CAP, that the potential benefits for small and medium farmers were too important not to support. 

Commenting after the vote, MacManus said:

“By voting in favour of this agreement we lock in significant gains. In my contribution during today’s debate, I recalled that we must not let ‘perfect be the enemy of good’. The fight to deliver a completely just CAP for family farmers is by no means won, but we are much closer than when we began this process. Without doubt, this will be a fairer CAP than the last, when talking about farmers pockets.

Firstly, we are closing the gap between those on high and low per hectare payments by another 20%. Second, the new CRISS mechanism sets aside 10% of payments to further reduce inequality between big and small farmers. Thirdly, the new framework has resulted in Ireland committed to capping payments at €66,000.

It is also important to note that the new CAP again can be further improved at national level, through the designing of an ambitious national strategic plan. Taking for example young farmers, Sinn Féin is calling for Ireland to go beyond the new minimum and set aside 4% of pillar I for young farmers, as a response to the crises we are facing in generational renewal. We are also calling for a comprehensive response to address the lack of women in farming. 

Certainly, the most problematic element of this reform related not to the legislation, but that we went into talks with a reduced budget. No matter how good the plan is, we had one hand tied behind our back because of the refusal by EU country leaders to fund it appropriately. 

Finally, this CAP has not neglected the climate crises we face, and recognises that farmers will be our biggest allies in delivering a sustainable transition. Farmers will be supported to engage in environmentally friendly practices like paludiculture and agroforestry. 

Sinn Féin will now turn its attention back to Ireland, to ensure Minister McConalogue finally listens to farmers and tailors our national plan to meet the needs of family farmers, who are on the frontline of keeping quality food on our tables, particularly during this pandemic. ENDS

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