Welcome for Hogan’s EU priorities

Phil Hogan

Phil Hogan, the incoming European commissioner for agriculture and rural development, will officially begin his term of office next Saturday.

Copa-Cogeca, the European umbrella body for farmers and co-ops, has welcomed his appointment.

Pekka Pesonen, general secretary, said many of the priorities already outlined by Mr Hogan were welcome.

These include producing food in a way that safeguards natural resources and meets rising demand.

He said Mr Hogan had also highlighted the need to screen the new Common Agricultural Policy and see what can be simplified, without putting into question its effectiveness.

“It is crucial for us that the CAP be simplified. And we all look forward to working with Mr Hogan in the coming months to ensure we have a viable EU agriculture sector,” he said.

MEP Mairead McGuinness, a member of the parliament’s committee on agriculture, said she was looking forward to working withMr Hogan during his five-year mandate. “However, I have raised some concerns regarding the sourcing of the funding from the Common Agricultural Policy budget,” she said in her blog.

“I understand some €465m, including some €295m in super levy fines, could be withdrawn to fund the EU response to ebola and other crises. The decision could result in the agriculture crisis reserve being limited to €88m for 2015.

“It is vital that the EU responds with both money and manpower to tackle the Ebola crisis. We must be mindful of the need for additional funds and not try to use money for existing policy measures.”

She said the CAP budget was already restrictive, so lessening its value now will have consequences.


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