Allies sought as report on CAP reform draws closer
The Government's diplomatic offensive on CAP reform has cranked up a gear as Ireland battles to secure concessions on the overall package, which is due to be published next week.
Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos will present his draft proposals on CAP reform tomorrow week (October 12) and a final lobby is in full swing as member states struggle to influence the final document.
Despite rumours that the Commission was backing away from the 2014 reference year proposal, the manner in which future single farm payments will be calculated, the share-out of the overall EU farm budget among member states, the impact of the greening requirements and the definition of 'active farmers' remain critical issues from an Irish perspective.
Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney met with his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire in Paris on Friday as he sought to build alliances in the run up to next week's announcement.
Mr Coveney said that for Ireland to secure a successful outcome on the CAP negotiations, it was important to build alliances with other member states.
The minister also took the opportunity to discuss the evolution of the dairy sector in the run up to the abolition of milk quotas.
Sources in Brussels said that the final detail of the CAP package was still in the melting pot as Commission officials revised and tweaked details of the proposals in response to particular concerns that had been raised.