Dáil Éireann - Volume 628 - 29 November, 2006

Written Answers. - EU Regulations.

Mr. Callanan asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food her views on the implementation of EU regulations under her aegis; the discussions she has had at EU level with regard to same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40270/06]

Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the steps she is taking to address the burden of red tape in agriculture; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40447/06]

  Mary Coughlan: I propose to take Questions Nos. 18 and 24 together.

My objective on an on-going basis is to ensure that all EU Regulations are drafted in simple and clear terms, that they provide for the appropriate levels of controls in relation to public health, animal health and public finances and that they do not confer excessive administrative or bureaucratic burdens on farmers, the public or my Department. I am fully committed to implementation of the various requirements in an impartial, balanced and practical manner.

I fully support, therefore, the process of simplification that is under way in the EU and I welcome the fact that the incoming German Presidency will give it the highest priority in the first [1400] half of 2007. Earlier in the year, my Department submitted suggestions for simplification to the Commission. I raised the matter with Commissioner Fischer Boel during her recent visit to Ireland in September and I wrote to the Commissioner on the matter on 17 October. Last week, I travelled to Germany for a meeting with my German Ministerial colleague, Mr. Horst Seefoher, who is taking over the Presidency in January next and who has undertaken to adopt the simplification process as a priority during his Presidency.

My Department will shortly be submitting a number of proposals to the Commission for the simplification of the implementation arrangements for the Single Payment Scheme and the system of cross-compliance. I intend to pursue these issues as part of the on-going process of simplification and, as stated, the incoming Presidency are fully aware of my views in this regard.