Step in the Right Direction Luke Ming Flanagan
Luke Ming Flanagan says current moves on farm inspections by the EU Commission are a step in the right direction.
These are issues, proportionate penalties, a yellow card system for first time breaches and a facility to amend minor clerical errors that he and his colleagues in the GUE/NGL have been consistently highlighting in the Agri committee of the European parliament. Over the last year in Committee they have tabled amendments where possible to give effect to these aims.
What is still lacking however, is a strong independent appeals process where farmers can get a fair hearing in a timely manner.
The red flagging of farmers for further inspections for minor errors is an area of concern.
More disappointing however was the response by Commissioner Hogan when questioned on further simplification of CAP. In Reply to questions he stated that Ireland "got all it wanted" form CAP reform.
This shows how out of touch he is with reality on the ground and equally tellingly it exposes his views on the future direction of CAP.
It echoes the mind-set of the now disgraced IFA which delivered a 60,000 bonus to its now departed CEO Pat Smith for delivering a "good CAP deal".
This does not reflect the reality on the ground for many farmers struggling on low incomes that would benefited from the original proposals for a fairer redistribution.
Ireland "got what they wanted" through a carefully orchestrated IFA campaign of misinformation, scaremongering and deliberately leading farmers in the wrong direction to protect the elite.