Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed the results of a study carried out by the German think tank Bertelsmann Stiftung which highlights the benefits to member States of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
Martina Anderson commented:
“The result of this intensive study is very welcome and should serve as a lesson to those MemberStates and MEPs who supported cuts to the EU Budget which has resulted in a reduced CAP allocation in the new term.
“The study by German think tank Bertelsmann Stiftung found that CAP is saving EU member states billions of euro a year. It found that if farm policy was returned to the remit of member states it would have resulted in those states having to spend an extra €23 billion (£20bn) in 2010 as the efficiencies of a common EU policy would have been lost. This would have created a scenario where competing member states would enter into a “subsidy race” to ensure their farming sector was protected. The study also found the CAP reduced political distortions which saved the bloc money.
“The study which was designed to evaluate if the EU helps its Members States to save money was presented in Brussels last week. This added value calculation validates Sinn Féin’s resolve, lobbying in my capacity as an MEP but also in the firmness of purpose displayed by our Minister in the Executive, Michelle O’Neill MLA in her discussions with other EU Ministers and the Commission to secure the best possible allocation for our farmers.
“This study also confirms that if it were not for CAP the cost of farming in the North would see more struggling farmers leave the land. With the British Government’s attitude to CAP and its insistence on EU Budgetary cuts in line with its austerity agenda it is clear that Britain would not be willing to make up the short-fall – thus the importance of getting a well funded CAP. Those who voted to cut it should reflect on this study and explain to our farmers their rationale for doing so.”