EU agriculture ministers are due to meet in Luxembourg today for the resumption of talks on the proposed reform of the Common Agriculture Policy.
Ireland, France, Germany and Spain, as well as a number of other EU states, have expressed their opposition to the reform plans, which would sever the link between subsidies and production levels.
Under the EU plans, farmers would receive subsidies for environmental, food safety and animal welfare standards on their farms rather than the current system whereby payments are based on production levels.
The reform is designed to reduce over-production in Europe, which can lead to cheap goods being dumped in Third World markets.
The European Union has stressed that a deal is urgently needed ahead of the enlargement of the union next year, which will bring millions of new farmers into the EU.