It's do-or-die time in dash for CAP deal
It is horse-trading time in Europe. The final dash for the line in the CAP negotiations is well and truly under way as the parties look to iron out the final areas of contention.
The general consensus is that a deal will be done. There is too much political capital invested by the main players in the process.
For Commissioner Ciolos, securing an agreement on CAP would be the crowning achievement of his term in office and for three years of hard work.
Similarly for Minister Coveney, this week's negotiations are the culmination of not only six months, but 18 months of effort.
There is also a realisation that – in Northern Ireland speak – a window of opportunity for a CAP deal exists at the moment but this window will shut pretty firmly should the talks falter.
If the parties fail to reach agreement this week, then it could be 2015 before the reform process gets back on track.
Any fresh round of negotiations is unlikely to happen before Germany goes to the polls for a general election in October. Meanwhile, next year could be lost because of European Parliament elections which are scheduled for early summer.
There is also a feeling that the same priority would not be afforded to a CAP deal by Lithuania's upcoming EU presidency, or indeed that of Greece, which is due to follow the Baltic state.