Farming

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Dublin date to ready for CAP push

An informal meeting of EU farm ministers in Dublin later this month will be used by Irish officials to prepare for a final push for a CAP deal.

The gathering of ministers is scheduled to take place from Sunday, May 26 to Tuesday, May 28.

Also due to attend the Dublin meetings are the main negotiators on behalf of the European Parliament and EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos.

At a press conference in Brussels today Minister Coveney, the chairman of the Parliament's agriculture committee Paolo De Castro and Commissioner Ciolos will outline progress in the talks to date.

The view from Brussels is that the difficult decisions on convergence and greening will be parked again this week, with the hard negotiations being left to the crucial Council of Ministers' summit on June 24 and 25.

However, there is a growing belief that the gathering in Dublin later this month will provide an opportunity for the various parties to the negotiations to sort out many areas of difficulty.

"There will be a lot of talking done in Dublin on the sidelines of the official functions," one Brussels source said.

"Because the talks are informal, it will allow the parties to be frank and explore possible solutions to the stickier issues," he added.

A programme for the three days has still to be finalised and will depend on progress from the talks in Brussels this week.

gala

However, a visit to a horse trainer's yard in Co Meath has been touted, as well as a gala dinner in the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham.

Meanwhile, matters maritime took centre stage in Brussels this week as the Council of Ministers, the Commission and European Parliament attempted to agree an EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) to 2020.

Sources in Brussels predicted a long night of negotiations tonight as the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, chairs the crucial CFP negotiations.

Officials will look closely at how the talks develop and progress as the process is seen as a dry run for the final push for a CAP deal.

Irish Independent