Brussels Daily
19 Mar 2015


Brussels Daily

Agriculture: Commission proposes to extend application deadline for direct payments

The Commission has today proposed the extension of the deadline of aid applications for Direct Payments to Monday June 15th.  This represents an extension of one month on the original May 15th deadline.  The extension would also apply to area-based payments in the Pillar II of the CAP. Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, explained: “I have proposed to allow Member States to extend the deadline so that farmers do not suffer the consequences of delays on the part of administrations, which are faced with the challenge of the first year of implementation of the new Common Agricultural Policy.  Member States can now take up this option, which should also help avoid penalties for late applications from recipients” adding that “It goes without saying that Member States who would decide to postpone the final date for submission of aid application should ensure that their administration and control system allow safeguarding sound financial management“. Deadlines to submit aid applications are fixed by the Member States and, under current rules, shall not be later than 15 May. The extension would apply for 2015 only and will be voluntary.

European Commission presents EU Trade and Investment Barriers Report

Today, the Commission presented to the European Council the fifth edition of the Trade and Investment Barriers Report. Identifying concrete obstacles to trade, it concludes that the EU’s strategic economic partners – Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Japan, Russia, and the United States – maintain a variety of barriers that significantly hinder international trade and investment opportunities of EU companies. “After years of turmoil, the global economy is improving. In these conditions, it’s disappointing to see so many obstacles to trade and investment persist. Now more than ever, determination is needed to level the playing field and get rid of barriers,” EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström commented. The Trade and Investment Barriers Report is part of a broader EU trade enforcement strategy set out in the Commission Communication Trade, Growth and World Affairs published in 2010. A new report has been presented to the European Council every spring since 2011. A press release is available online.

EU Biodiversity strategy: Report finds one in ten EU wild bees under extinction

Europe’s wild bees are in decline, according to new scientific research published today, co-funded by the European Commission as part of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) European Red List of Bees and the Status and Trends of European Pollinators (STEP) project. The report reveals that 9.2% of European wild bee species are threatened with extinction, while 5.2% are considered likely to be threatened in the near future.  Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella said: “Our quality of life – and our future – depends on the many goods and services that nature provides for free.  If we don’t address the roots of the decline in wild bees, and act urgently to stop it, we could pay a very heavy price indeed.” Europe has an ambitious strategy to halt the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services in the EU by 2020, and restore them so far as feasible. More information available on the Commission’s environment website.

Read full edition: Daily News 19 – 03 – 2015

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