We’re beginning to get details through for the next Council of Ministers meeting, on 18 June in Luxembourg.
This will be the last Council of the 6-month Danish Presidency. The Danes have been holding a policy debate on specific aspects of the CAP proposals at each Council meeting. These have been mostly on Direct Payments, but for the June Council the subject will be the Pillar 2 Rural Development regulation.
One of the big issues for us will of course be the future of the LFA (or, as it’s to be renamed, Areas of Natural Constraint). I expect that, as on previous occasions, they’ll send out a short questionnaire a few days in advance to try and structure the discussion. However, in my experience these questionnaires are of limited value; if a Minister wants to make a particular point, the fact that it’s not covered by the Presidency questionnaire won’t stop him or her! Then, since this is their last meeting, the Danes plan to table a progress report setting out where the negotiations have got to so far – before handing the baton over to the Cypriot Presidency.