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Wednesday, 12 March 2008 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Explanations of vote

Text tabled : A6-0047/2008

  Colm Burke, Avril Doyle, Jim Higgins, Mairead McGuinness and Gay Mitchell (PPE-DE), in writing. − We support the general thrust of the report on the Health Check on the CAP. However, it is important to point out that the particular situation for Ireland which has fully decoupled all direct payments from production needs to be taken into consideration. In particular, the commitments made to all farmers in the Agenda 2000 reforms that there would be a reduction in bureaucracy. So far the experience has not been entirely positive.

On the specific issue of maintaining the payments to producers, we cannot accept a move towards a flat rate payment per hectare regime. Farmers have budgeted on the current system remaining in place until 2013. In addition, moves to increase modulation and take more of the direct payments from producers are unwelcome. We would have welcomed a high increase in milk quota but in line with our view on the Jeggle report we have accepted the consensus opinion on a 2% increase for the coming marketing year.

In the long term, however, it is the threat posed by a bad deal at the WTO which looms large over EU agriculture. Such a deal must be resisted.

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