The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, is due to lead an Irish delegation to Brussels today for negotiations on the next EU budget.
The prospect for agreement remains unclear, however, with major differences among the member states over issues like agricultural subsidies.
Some countries are demanding a reduction in the rebate that sees Britain get back €5bn of the money it pays into the EU every year.
However, the British government has said it will only accept less money from the EU if there are further cuts in subsidies to farmers under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
This would be a major worry for Ireland, which is determined to protect the subsidies negotiated during the last CAP reform talks.