Welcome to the Irish Presidency

Ireland took over the EU Presidency from 1 January 2013 and the Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, will chair the Council of Agricultural Ministers for the next six months. Coveney is an energetic Minister and the Irish have an experienced bunch of officials (see who’s who in the Irish delegation) who will do everything to ensure an agreement on CAP reform on their watch.
Securing an agreement under the Irish Presidency is conceivable. But I am going to argue that the institutional decision-making process between the Council and the Parliament, as well as the linkage with the Multi-annual Frinancial Framework (MFF) negotiations, will make it extraordinarily difficult, even assuming that the European Council will reach an agreement on the next MFF at its next meeting on 7-8 February 2013.… Read the rest