European politicians meeting in Luxembourg are edging towards a long-awaited agreement on reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.
Farm ministers from across Europe are due to discuss a new written text on Tuesday afternoon (25 June).
It follows lengthy talks between the European Parliament, European Council of Agriculture Ministers and the European Commission.
After almost two years of negotiations, a draft political agreement on CAP reform is expected to be reached this week, the European Commission has confirmed.
An agreement is seen as crucial before Ireland hands over the EU presidency to Lithuania on 30 June – but final details are unlikely to emerge until the autumn.
Irish farm minister Simon Coveney said agreement in principle had been reached on a number of issues, including a mandatory scheme to encourage young farmers into the industry.
This would be funded by up to 2% of pillar one funding, he said.
Compromises or “landing zones” had also been agreed on almost all other issues relating to rural development, said Mr Coveney.
Agreements were close on other big issues, he added. But he reiterated that it was important to realise they were agreements in principle rather than a done deal.
Lengthy negotiations are expected over the coming hours, as talks resume following a marathon session which ended at 3am on Tuesday (25 June).
An agriculture committee debate in the presence of Mr Coveney and European farm commissioner Dacian Cioloş is then due to be held in Brussels on Wednesday (26 June).
For more on CAP reform visit our special report