DUP MEP Diane Dodds said the event would be held on the first day of the DUP's two-day conference will provide a key opportunity for Northern Ireland's rural stakeholders to engage with the lead Minister on the reform of both the Common Agriculture Policy and Common Fisheries Policy under the Irish Presidency of the EU, which will take effect from January 1 to June 30 2013. DUP representatives in Europe, Westminster and the NI Assembly and Executive will also be present for exchanging views.
Mrs. Dodds said: "As the reform of the Common Agriculture Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy enter critical stages in negotiations there is a lot at stake for all involved. The Irish Presidency and Mr Coveney will play an important role in securing a future agreement on these very important policies and I am pleased he will be able to attend our rural affairs event.The breakfast will allow stakeholders to put forward ideas and questions to the Minister and most importantly inform him of the needs of Northern Ireland in future negotiations.
"When the budget is agreed the agriculture committee will vote on the CAP and then Parliament as a whole. Simon Coveney will lead the negotiations and shape the agenda for constructing an agreement on the CAP. While the Republic of Ireland may not agree with everything Northern Ireland would want from the agreement, their farming practices and the recognition that the primary producer must be supported is similar. If a deal is not agreed by the end of June the Presidency then falls to the Lithuanian Government, which in itself will prove reaching a satisfactory agreement difficult given differences in opinion around convergence of payments between Member States," she said.