Beef supports could be squeezed out by EU's budget crunch
EU election season has kicked off, with climate change and the EU's post-Brexit future looming large in the campaign.
The election is likely to see a major shift in the European Parliament's power balance, with smaller and Eurosceptic groups expected to gain at the expense of the main political groups.
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The Brexit extension also means that UK MEPs are likely to be elected and actually take their seats when the new parliament sits in July. Ireland's incumbent parliamentarians, including Fine Gael MEPs Seán Kelly and Mairead McGuinness, and Sinn Féin's Matt Carthy, Lynn Boylan and Liadh Ní Riada, are running on a strong agriculture ticket, specifically, a well-funded Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
But they will be battling against their European colleagues, many of whom favour more money for defence and new revenues in the form of EU-wide carbon and corporate taxes.
The debates come as Irish beef farmers are fighting for emergency Brexit supports, after suffering losses of €100m, according to the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA).
European elections will be "judgement day" for the Government and the Commission, said IFA president Joe Healy, accusing them of "standing idly by" while beef farmers falter.
Although France is also arguing for a well-funded CAP, it's unclear whether the demands from beef farmers can be met, given the EU's budget crunch. Some electoral candidates - notably, the European Green co-chair Ska Keller -are also arguing in favour of a more plant-based diet. She is her party's lead candidate for European Commission president, a race that is being run alongside the parliamentary election.
They are also keen to see future trade deals include climate conditions linked to the Paris Agreement.