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ICOS Rural Business Chairman James O’Donnell at the CAP Conference in Brussels

EU Agricultural Commissioner Phil Hogan and DG AGRI presented the results of the public consultation on the future of the CAP at the stakeholder conference “The CAP: Have your say”, held in Brussels on July 7th. ICOS was represented at the conference by James O’Donnell, Rural Business Chairman and Alison Graham, ICOS European Affairs Executive.

In general, the consultation concluded that more should be done to boost investment, growth and employment, mitigate and adapt to climate change, and strengthen the EU single market.

It was noted that there was a “tension” in the responses between economic development and environmental protection, while farmers viewed the main objective of the CAP as ensuring a fair standard of living for food producers, the general public weighted environmental protection more highly.

During his introductory remarks, Commissioner Hogan stated that the CAP must become simpler, its orientation must shift from compliance to “results based” for greater environmental protection, market resilience be improved to better cope with volatility and generation renewal addressed.

This, he said, could be achieved through increasing flexibility on a member state level, indicating a greater role in future for the co-funded rural development policy. This equally highlights the financial constraints which the future CAP is likely to face, with its budget threatened by Brexit and other interests such as migration.

The results of this public consultation, together with the results of an impact assessment currently being undertaken on the policy, will feed into a non-binding communication to be published by Commissioner Hogan at the end of this year.

The CAP conference presentations and the consultation report can be found here: https://goo.gl/eUxmFg

In addition, the ICOS position on the future CAP can be found here: https://goo.gl/9iNXWr

By Alison Graham

European Affairs Executive

Tags: CAP, Commission, Outcome