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Brussels didn't neglect farmers during past month

SO that your readers are not left with the wrong impression, I would be grateful if you would correct the assertion (News, August 28) - highlighting the current difficulties in the dairy sector - which said: " ... but the European Commission in Brussels was closed all this month, so concerns couldn't be raised there".

This was simply wrong. The European Commission was not closed during the month of August and the concerns of the dairy industry were very much on the agenda in Brussels.

Most commission officials do take their annual summer leave during August, as do most commissioners (August is traditionally the season for family holidays across mainland Europe), but the commission remains very much open.

As happens in other organisations during holiday periods, whether at Christmas or summer, a staff rota is drawn up to ensure a permanent presence in all the commission directorates-general and staff going on leave provide contact details in advance so they can be reached if necessary.

Closer to home, this office remained open every day during the summer and, in fact, I was happy to interrupt my own holiday in the US to follow up on a query.

I can assure readers - and especially the dairy farmers who came to my office on August 24 - that concerns raised either with me in Northern Ireland, or directly in Brussels, are transmitted swiftly to the relevant commissioner or officials - regardless of the time of year.


Head of office

Office of the European Commission in Northern Ireland

Belfast Telegraph


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