Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan 2023-2027 has been formally resubmitted by the Department of Agriculture to the European Commission for approval, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has confirmed.
Final approval of the plan is expected in September 2022, in time to allow its implementation from 1 January 2023.
The updated plan takes account of the observations received from the European Commission in March.
Minister McConalogue said discussions on the revised plan have been held at every level to reach this agreement, including a recent meeting with Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski to discuss some of the more challenging elements.
“The work will continue for the next few months, with the parallel processes of finalising the environmental assessments, while the Commission complete their internal reviews and legal processes.
"I’m confident that we’ve presented a robust plan, which aims to meet the twin objectives of ensuring the continued viability of family farms and maximising the environmental and social sustainability of the sector,” he said.
The plan received initial feedback from the European Commission in the form of an observation letter in March 2022.
Since then, Department officials have met with stakeholders via the CAP consultative committee on three occasions.
The Minister acknowledged the importance of the input and observations given by stakeholders in this period and throughout the process.
The Department has said the plan is projected to deliver reductions in emissions from the agricultural sector, with a reduction of up to 1.3Mt in agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions in the period 2023 to 2027.
“The [plan] also has ambitious targets for biodiversity, water quality and natural resources and climate protection.
"It is also important to note that sectoral emissions ceilings will be addressed through a combination of [plan] measures and other measures, including regulation, industry incentives, technology adoption, diversification and development of carbon farming models.”
The Minister also noted that this collaboration will continue in the coming months, as the final legal and administrative processes, including the environmental assessments, are concluded.
He noted that the Department is already working to inform farmers of the details of the schemes and making the relevant preparations for the development of administrative and IT systems.
“The final CAP strategic plan is the outcome of a collaborative process with all stakeholders and the commitment of my officials and the European Commission to develop a plan that will ensure the economic, environmental and social sustainability of the sector for the next five years,” he said.