Minister Coveney says progress at CAP reform talks

Monday 27 May 2013 19.12
Simon Coveney said there are still issues that need to be resolved
Simon Coveney said there are still issues that need to be resolved

Two days of informal talks are taking place to try to advance negotiations on reforming the Common Agricultural Policy in Dublin.

EU agriculture ministers and representatives of the European Parliament and Commission are taking part as the Irish presidency of the EU tries to get a deal before the end of June.

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has said some progress has been made in the negotiations, but there are still issues to be resolved.

Mr Coveney said the final deal will result in farmers on the highest payments taking a reduction, while small farmers will gain.

He described this as fair to all sides.

Speaking earlier at Dublin Castle, Mr Coveney said that for the first time agreement on CAP reform will be reached by means of a cross-institution co-decision making process.

Chair of the European Parliament's Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development Paulo De Castro said the parliament was committed to reaching an agreement, but warned that it would be challenging.

"It’s not very easy, we have 27 different approaches, we have three European Institutions," Mr De Castro said.

He said: "This is the first important decision under the co-decision process, so it means all the three institutions should agree."

There are still a number of major issues of disagreement between participants.

They include how much of direct payments should be paid on land area rather than on volumes of production.

It also is reviewing what greening measures should be incorporated into the payments system and what the definition of an active farmer is.

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