Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Decision time: Talks resume on CAP reform in final push for deal

“I believe an overall agreement is now within our grasp,” said Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, who is chairing the two-day meeting.

TALKS ARE DUE to resume in Luxembourg this morning over plans to reform the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy in what is seen as a final push for an agreement.

The talks between EU member states and the European Commission are the last opportunity for Ireland to hammer out a deal on the next CAP, which is due to run from 2014 to 2020, before its presidency of the Council of the EU ends on 30 June.

The meeting will be chaired by Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney and will last for two days.

“Decision time has arrived,” Coveney said at the weekend, adding that he believed that an overall agreement is “now within our grasp.” The Minister said that he hopes to see the deal finalised by Wednesday.

Negotiations have been going on for 18 months.

Some of the issues which still have to be agreed upon include the distribution of direct payments to farmers, sugar quotas, greening and financial and monitoring provisions.

The Irish Farmers’ Association has called on Minister Coveney to refuse to accept any deal that would be bad for Irish farmers.

Thousands of farmers from around Ireland protested against proposed reforms to the CAP at the end of May during an informal meeting of EU Agriculture Ministers in Dublin Castle.

Read: European Parliament reaches agreement on controversial fisheries reform >

Column: Here’s why the farmers are protesting on the streets of Ireland >

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