Following three-day CAP talks in Brussels, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue has said difficult discussions lie ahead in the ongoing effort to reach agreement between the European institutions on the future Common Agriculture Policy.
Talks in Brussels on reforming the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) entered a fourth day today, but were called off early because the negotiating positions of co-legislators, the European Parliament and the Council of member states’ agriculture and fisheries ministers, were so far apart.
It was therefore decided to postpone talks until June.
The main point of disagreement between the sides is thought to be what proportion of the direct payments income supports for farmers would be ring-fenced for new eco-schemes.
The eco-schemes are a new CAP instrument to reward farmers who go a step further in environmental care and climate action.
Commenting following the formal suspension of trilogue negotiations in Brussels this morning, the Minister said, "I am very disappointed that a CAP deal was not achieved this week as, along with my colleagues in the Council of Ministers, I worked incredibly hard to do so.
Referring to the conclusion of the talks, the Minister said, "Unfortunately, it was not possible to reach an accommodation with the European Parliament this week. It is clear that the two sides remain some distance apart on a range of issues.