CAP deal likely next week
The talk from Brussels would appear to suggest that a deal on Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform looks likely to be agreed next week.
Those close to the talks say that while the full package will not be signed off at the scheduled Council of Farm Ministers meeting in Luxembourg next Monday and Tuesday, the nuts and bolts will all be in place and ready for a final bit of tightening in Brussels later in the week.
As with all grand initiatives from Europe, there is an amount of choreography and theatre involved in the process that is required to satisfy the private agendas of the various parties.
However, if all goes to plan and no last-minute problems arise, the Irish presidency and the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, will be celebrating a major achievement next week.
It is too early to talk of the specifics of the package given that many of the finer points could be subject to change between now and Friday week. And as with all agreements, the devil is very much in the detail.
But there appears to be few surprises in the broad thrust of the package from those outlined over the last few weeks.
Greening and the internal convergence of Single Farm Payments (SFP) at national level remain the primary areas of concern from an Irish perspective.