The last round of consultation for the new RDP has closed and we expect the Dept. of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to make their application to Brussels by the end of the month. I hope that the details of the application will be published as soon as possible after they have been sent to the EU Commission.
As regards GLAS, I do not expect there will be significant changes from the structure proposed by the Dept. What we can hope for it that the process of filling in the information gaps that have contributed to the unease felt by many will pick up speed. However one key issue has been clarified in recent days, this is the method for calculating the qualified majority required for priority entry to the scheme. Minister Coveney has confirmed that the 50/ 80% required will be from the set of farmers currently declaring a share on the commonage and not from the total set of shareholders. This is an important development as a requirement for majority support of total shareholders would in many cases have been absolutely impossible. It is unfortunate that this issue was not dealt with many months ago as it could have eased some of the concerns of many commonage shareholders.