THE Government has been urged to start lobbying now to secure the agriculture and rural development portfolio for Ireland in the next European Commission.
MEP Mairead McGuinness made the call when she addressed the Dáil Committee on European Affairs.
The term of office of the current commission is due to expire later this year, but Ms McGuinness said there is no time for complacency.
“In Brussels the debate has already begun about what agriculture policy we will have post-2013. The Government and the Minister for Agriculture should be leading this debate.
“In the absence of this engagement, the emerging policy will be dictated by the size of the budget, which is under pressure, rather than what is the correct policy.
“So important is this to our future that Ireland should now be lobbying to secure the agriculture and rural development portfolio in the next commission,” she said.
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