• THIS IS the season when we should be banishing pessimism.

  • IT MIGHT be another European Commission fudge, but it now seems that the CAP crisis reserve for 2015 has been left intact.

  • IT MIGHT be cold comfort that the European Commission has made it official, but dairy prices fell by 15% over the first six weeks from the imposition of the Russian import ban.

  • IN ONE of those bizarre juxtapositions of events, we all watched spellbound while European space scientists landed a probe on a comet three hundred million miles away - while at the same time the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, was emulating the nineteenth century Luddites who destroyed machinery because it threatened their jobs.

  • THE EUROPEAN Commission is not known for good management of its finances - hence the reason its auditors have not been able to sign off its accounts for 19 successive years.

  • THE NEW farm commissioner, Phil Hogan, had barely got his feet under his desk in Brussels before the Irish Farmers Association was setting out what it expected, and to be fair it has a reasonable case.

  • THIS WEEKEND it is a case of all change in Brussels.

  • WHEN IT comes to decision making, it is often difficult to follow the logic of the European Commission.

  • IT WOULD be an understatement to say things are not good in agriculture at the moment, and this is the case across the EU.

  • IF HIS performance as commissioner is as impressive as his appearance before the agriculture committee of the European parliament, Phil Hogan will be a popular choice for the job.