Crunch time for farm incomes
Sir, – Food and Farming Correspondent Alison Healy rightly draws attention to the fact that the EU has not agreed a budget for 2014-2020 (“Crunch time looms for farm incomes”, Business, January 14th), and she refers to the IFA’s concerns about proposals to cut the funding for the EU’s Common Agriculture Policy.
Coverage such as this is rare, as the negotiations for a new multi-annual budget for the European Union seem thus far to have taken place in a vacuum.
There is virtually no public debate, or media attention, for what is likely to be one of the biggest political decisions to be taken in the coming years. And particularly in Ireland, the country charged with brokering agreement on the priorities, there should be a great deal more awareness of the issues at stake.
Through the EU presidency, Ireland has a unique opportunity to take a leadership role and we owe it to ourselves that we debate the priorities we want to set for the future of Europe.
The prosperity of all Europe’s citizens depends on global stability and peaceful international co-operation. We must resolve to champion progress towards a more equitable and sustainable Ireland, Europe and wider world. And we must start by ensuring the EU’s budget prioritises future-oriented areas and policies that make Europe work for people across the world. – Yours, etc,