The EU will later put forward proposals to resolve the trade dispute in Northern Ireland.
Great Britain wants to change the agreement reached as part of the Brexit process in order to allow a more free movement of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
It is said that current regulations place too many barriers on the sale of chilled meat and other products.
The proposals, described by the EU as far-reaching, should include fewer controls on goods and pharmaceuticals.
At the beginning of the year, a new post-Brexit regulation – the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol – was introduced to prevent controls along the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The point is to keep Northern Ireland in the EU internal market for goods – but that in turn creates a new trade border with Great Britain. Unionists say this is undermining their place in the UK.
Both sides seem to agree, albeit to differing degrees, that the protocol is causing some difficulties for people and businesses in Northern Ireland.
Some Northern Irish companies affected by the protocol say supply chains will be broken and while there may be opportunities, there are some problems as well.
Eamon McKey of County Down sandwich maker Deli Lites said more people are now shopping locally, and Deli Lites has gained accounts previously served by competitors in the UK.
The sandwich maker has also lost some of its UK suppliers, he added.
The talks between the EU and Great Britain on the new proposals, which are expected to last several weeks, are the first step towards better regulation.
“To listen carefully”
European Commission Vice-President Maros Šefčovič said the new proposals for the protocol were “very far-reaching” and he hoped they would be seen as such.
The proposals aim to encompass a unique agri-food agreement that spans agriculture, horticulture and food and beverage processing, with the aim of drastically reducing controls on goods shipped from the UK to Northern Ireland.
There will also be a regulation allowing UK chilled meat to be resold in Northern Ireland; these products were facing a ban.
The EU has also announced that it will amend its laws to address regulatory issues that threaten the supply of medicines in Northern Ireland.
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“We see opportunities, but had problems”
Republic of Ireland Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said the proposals “reflect months of hard work, careful listening across Northern Ireland and will provide practical solutions to make the protocol work better”.
“I hope the UK government is serious about the partnership,” he added.
It comes when Tánaiste (Irish Deputy Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar warned governments signing trade deals with Britain that it is a nation “not necessarily keeping its word”.
He made the comment after Dominic Cummings implied that Britain had always intended to tear up the Brexit deal it signed with the EU in 2019.