A quick scan of today’s media coverage on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform presents a confusing picture. Ahead of the final meeting of Agricultural Ministers to be held under the Irish Presidency, taking place next week, it remains unclear just who will be attending the meeting, and whether or not a deal will be reached.
The Council meeting is taking place from 24 – 26 June in Luxembourg. It will be the last to be chaired by Irish Farm Minister Simon Coveney. From the outset of the Irish presidency, Mr Coveney has been clear on his intention to reach a deal under his watch. However, with just a few days to go until farm ministers from EU Member States will meet to resolve all outstanding differences on the future of the CAP, it seems a number of questions still need answering.
A report on the BBC highlights that MEPs are threatening to boycott the meeting. In a statement on 18 June, Paolo de Castro, the chair of the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee warned that a deal on the reform of the EU’s CAP is unlikely to be reached by the end of the Irish presidency.
The Scotsman reports that MEPs are blaming ministers for the delay in the CAP reform. Again referencing the speech by De Castro, the article highlights that none of the major political issues – including key environmental measures – are close to reaching a settlement.
Meanwhile the Irish Independent suggests a CAP deal is likely: “while the full package will not be signed off at the scheduled Council of Farm Ministers meeting in Luxembourg next Monday and Tuesday, the nuts and bolts will all be in place and ready for a final bit of tightening in Brussels later in the week,” reports Declan O’Brien.
Whether or not MEPs will be present in Luxembourg is unclear. A report in AgraNet suggests that the Euopean Parliament will only go to Luxembourg, “if substantial progress is made in this week’s remaining ‘trilogue’ meetings.”
The most recent Brussels Briefing on Agriculture provided by EU Policy broadcasters viEUws sheds further light on the situation. Speaking about whether or not MEPs will attend, it is reported that despite announcing they will not, hotel rooms in Luxembourg have been booked for this period.
On Thursday June 20 at 13.45, viEUws will be organising a live video debate on the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, featuring Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Cioloş and the European Parliament Agriculture Committee Chair Paolo De Castro.
Moderated by Rose O’Donovan, Editor of AGRA FACTS and agriculture reporter for viEUws, the debate will be streamed live for free on www.viEUws.eu.