Extension of state aid for National Forestry Programme
From my first day in office as Minister of State with responsibility for Forestry, resolving forestry issues has been one of my top political priorities. Clearly we still have some way to go to meet the ambition we have set ourselves but I intend to build on the momentum we have created, so that we not only increase the number of licences issued to land and forest owners in the months ahead, but we also design a model of woodland creation which works for all.
I welcome the news that the EU Commission has agreed to an extension of the state aid approval for the Ireland’s National Forestry Programme for 2021. This is good news which will provide assurance to those who wish to apply for grants under the current forestry programme. The extension was necessary as there were delays in issuing new EU guidelines for state aid in the agriculture and forestry sector, but this gives legal certainty for the continuation of the programme. I am pleased to have secured it in time for 2021 and I would like to thank the Commission for agreeing to my request for an extension.
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