Agricultural ministers from across the EU will meeting in Luxembourg on Monday 19 October for a two-day summit in an attempt to hammer out their final position on the next CAP.
Ireland will be represented by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue at the meeting which aims to secure a "general approach" among the EU Agriculture Council.
This will set the Council’s mandate to enter trilogue, or final, negotiations with the European Commission and Parliament.
The initial proposals for the next CAP were made in 2018 and have been intensely debated since.
The three EU institutions have stepped up efforts in recent months to conclude the negotiations. The German Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture Julia Klöckner is heading up the Council’s efforts building on the work undertaken by the Croatian presidency in the first half of the year.
After a debate among the ministers on Monday, she will consider all comments before holding one-to-one meetings with the required delegations to secure a final compromise.
The main bone of contention among ministers is the policy’s green architecture, which sets out the climate and environmental ambitions for the next CAP.
The biggest area of concern is the introduction of eco-schemes into the branch of CAP that covers direct payments.
Previously, greening provided the environmental justification for these payments to farmers. However, in an effort to further "green" the policy, it will be incorporated into cross-compliance.
Eco-schemes will take its place and these will be voluntary schemes for farmers.
Member states, including Ireland, are concerned that if farmers fail to opt into the scheme in the required numbers, CAP funds could be left unspent. The concerns were heightened after the Commission and some members of the Council pushed for a ringfencing of funds for eco-schemes.
The German presidency has proposed a figure of 20% with an initial learning phase for the first few years in which funds could be reallocated as farmers adjusted to the new system.
Next week it will become clearer whether it is a compromise member states can accept.
Alongside the Council’s final negotiations, the European Parliament aims to set its final position next week.
MEPs will hold three days of votes on amendments to the CAP proposal. If a final package is passed through the Parliament it too will be ready to enter trialogues.