MEPs hold the key to finalising deal on CAP
MEPs are gathering in Brussels today to decide whether they will attend the final days of negotiations on CAP reform in Luxembourg next week.
The presence of the MEPs during the last stages of the talks are seen by many as crucial to securing a deal in the next 10 days.
The parliamentarians are threatening not to travel to Luxembourg unless they are reassured by the EU Commission and the Farm Council that their co-legislative powers under the Lisbon treaty are respected.
However, even if the MEPs agree to travel to Luxembourg to be part of the negotiations, it is likely that a final deal will not be unveiled until Minister Simon Coveney, as President of the farm council, and Commissioner Dacian Ciolos travel back to Brussels to secure an agreement from the European Parliament.
The crucial issues of front-loading and what level a minimum payment will be set at look set to go down to the wire.
The IFAhas reiterated its stance on minimising the amount of money that is redistributed from farmers on high payments as a result of this reform.
"Redistribution must be minimised and targeted at active farmers with low payments," said the IFA president John Bryan yesterday.