• IT SOMETIMES seems that the European Commission is out to convince doubters in the UK to vote 'no' in the referendum on EU membership.

  • WHEN TALK turns to the problems of agriculture it is not long until the 'V word' is used.

  • THEY MAY be the most senior civil servants in Europe, but most EU commissioners come to the job with sound political credentials.

  • THE OLD saying that the 'road to hell is paved with good intentions' often holds true and the French government is facing an investigation by the European Commission for trying to improve prices last year for milk, beef and pork.

  • IT WOULD be difficult to think of a more depressing start to a new year.

  • WHEN FARMERS look back on 2015 for the most part it will be with little enthusiasm.

  • ONCE AGAIN farmers have good cause to say a resounding 'merci' to the French.

  • The European Commission held a major 'Outlook' conference, in Brussels, earlier this month and it coincided with a meeting at which the US and EU both promised more action to ensure agriculture contributed to climate change mitigation.

  • THERE HAS been a widespread welcome for the plans from the farm commissioner, Phil Hogan, to simplify parts of the CAP and return some decision making to member states.

  • IN A world of volatile prices and plunging farm incomes, good news is rare - but moves to simplify some aspects of the CAP are positive.