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18/07/2017

Agriculture-Fisheries Council 17-18 July – results in full here

The CAP in the Commission’s reflection paper on the future of EU finances

On the initiative of the Spanish delegation ministers had the opportunity to discuss the issue of the future finances of the CAP. Spain noted that in the Commission’s reflection paper on the future of EU finances, four of the five scenarios would imply a serious reduction of CAP financing. It therefore sought further clarification from the Commission on the matter.

The Commission’s reflection paper on the future of EU finances by 2025 sets out a series of options and scenarios regarding the future direction of the EU budget and how it could be used. It is intended to stimulate further a public debate about where the Union is going and what Europeans want to achieve together. This is the last of the 5 reflection papers following the White paper on the Future of Europe.

This point was discussed jointly with the ones on modernising and simplifying the CAP, simplification, and the meeting of the agriculture ministers of the extended Visegrad group. During that debate, several delegations appreciated the Spanish request for more information and agreed on the need for an adequately financed CAP in the future.

 

Ministerial conference on “GMO free agriculture: a chance for rural development in Central and South Eastern Europe”, Vienna 9-10 May 2017

Ministers were informed about the outcome of the above-mentioned conference , which was a joint Hungarian-Austrian initiative and was attended by ministers and other high-ranking representatives from Central and South Eastern European countries.

The event marked the 20th anniversary of the Austrian referendum on genetic engineering, which showed that Austrians firmly reject food produced using GMOs. The event was linked to the Danube Soya Initiative, which was launched by Austria and created a strategic partnership for the production of GMO-free and organic soya in the Danube region.

Austria and Hungary underlined the fact that, despite all efforts, the demand for GMO-free soya is far from being met in the EU. Even though GMO-free soya production has increased in Europe over the past few years, large amounts of soya meal still need to be imported.

The Commission welcomed the initiative but reminded the Council that the EU would continue to have a significant protein deficit, especially for proteins from soy beans and soy meals. It considered that full substitution of all imports by EU GMO-free production was not achievable in the short term, and that EU farmers would continue to largely rely on imports of GMO soya.

17/07/2017

Hogan highlights progress made on CAP simplification and consultation

07/07/2017

European Commission Conference: THE CAP HAVE YOU SAY on outcome of Public Consultation on the CAP

 

Press release – Public consultation identifies challenges for future Common Agricultural Policy

Agricultural policy is best managed at the EU level, focusing on core issues of support for farmers and environmental protection, consultation findings show.

European citizens believe that agricultural policy should continue to be managed at the EU level, and that helping farmers and protecting the environment should be its two main goals.

These are among the key findings of the public consultation published today on modernising and simplifying the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which received more than 322,000 submissions from a wide range of stakeholders, including farmers, citizens, organisations and other interested partiies.  Read Press Release in full here

 

Presentations

05/05/2017

Commission agrees to delay CAP payments application deadline

Countries wishing to extend the deadline for applications EU aid for farmers will be allowed to do so, EU agriculture and rural development commissioner Phil Hogan has confirmed. The deadline can now be extended by one month, from 15 May to 15 June 2017.   The decision comes after requests for an extension from a number of EU member countries after changes to their administrative systems for handling applications had impacted farmers’ ability to submit the claims on time.

03/05/2017

Preliminary Results public consultation on the future common agricultural policy

03/04/2017

CAP: Omnibus regulation

The Council had an exchange of views on the proposed regulation on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, the so-called Omnibus regulation, which proposes updates to legislation in several areas, including the common agricultural policy (CAP), and is part of the review of the multi-annual financial framework. The discussion was aimed to provide political orientation on the agricultural aspects of the proposal.

Delegations broadly supported the Presidency compromise package set out in 7527/1/17 REV 1 and addressed the few outstanding political issues (voluntary coupled support, young farmers, income stabilisation tool, etc.). The Commission invited ministers to prioritise simplification in their decisions, in order to facilitate a timely adoption of the regulation and its entry into force at the beginning of 2018.

On the basis of the political guidance given by ministers, the Special Committee on Agriculture will shortly finalise the agreement on the legal texts of the CAP regulations, and send them to the Friends of the Presidency group for the following stages of the negotiating procedure.

The Commission proposal on the Omnibus regulation was published in October 2016 as a part of the review package of the Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF). It includes changes applicable to all four basic CAP Regulations: direct payments, rural development, common market organisation, and horizontal regulation, with the aim of further simplifying the common agricultural policy to the benefit of both farmers and national authorities.

Some of the proposed changes include:

– the introduction of a sector specific income stabilisation tool in the rural development regulation

– simpler rules for accessing loans and other financial instruments

Read Agriculture Council results in full here

01/04/2017

CAP: Commission proposes annual reduction in direct payments to finance crisis reserve

The European Commission has adopted a proposal to reduce spending on support for farmers for the financial year 2018 in order to create a crisis reserve that can be used should the need arise.

The so-called financial discipline proposal is made each year and reduces spending under the common agricultural policy – specifically direct payments that are funded by the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) – in order to set aside €400m (in 2011 prices) to cover potential crises in agricultural markets.

The proposal for 2018 aims to reduce CAP direct payments in excess of €2 000 by 1.388149%, with the exception of direct payments for farmers in Croatia as they are still being phased into the scheme following their country’s accession to the EU. The money saved as a result will be used to ensure that a crisis reserve of €459.5 million (in current prices) is available in the 2018 budget.  The rate is slightly higher than the 1.353905% applied in 2017 (for a reserve of €450.5 million). Read  Commission proposes annual reduction in direct payments to finance crisis reserve

30/03/2017

CAP: Public Consultation on the future of the CAP: Thousands already have their say on future of food, farming and rural areas

29/03/2017

CAP: DIRECT PAYMENTS FOR FARMERS 2015-2020

While the rules governing Direct Payments are set at EU level, their implementation is managed directly by each Member State under the principle known as “shared management”.  This means that National Authorities are responsible for the administraiton and control of Direct Paymets to farmers in their Country.  Read more about Direct Payments here

28/03/2017

CAP:  Excerpts from Phil Hogan’s Address to the Forum for the Future of Agriculture – Is the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) fit for the SDG age?

The CAP has ensured food security in Europe since shortly after the end of the Second World War. Today it provides food security to millions of people way beyond the EU and, despite all the laudable objectives of helping people to feed themselves, that will continue to be the case, at least for decades to come.

The CAP also ensures that the people of Europe have access to high quality food, produced to the highest standards in the world.

If we are to maintain food security and the highest food standards in the world, we must continue to support European farmers through the CAP.

In addition, the CAP is a policy that reaches out to all parts of Europe, even to the most marginal rural areas. And this is where we need to act. The highest rate of poverty in the EU nowadays is to be found in rural areas.

The CAP is a policy that enables jobs, economic development and growth in those areas where it is most needed. The CAP is at the root of a vibrant agri-food sector, which provides for 44 million jobs in the EU. We should use this potential more.

Having said this about the policy, it is clear that it needs to adapt and modernise for the 21st century. Food has to be put at the centre of the debate and farmers actions have to be directed accordingly.

We must remember that the CAP is an economic, environmental and social policy and each one of these objectives is as important as the other. The choice is not a binary choice between one objective and another. It is a choice between a policy that delivers effectively for its stakeholders, including taxpayers, and one that doesn’t. Read full Address to the Forum for the Future of Agriculture 28 March 2017

22/03/2017

CAP: Address by Commissioner Phil Hogan at Copa/Cogeca event on Cork 2.0

“I want to make it very clear: I see a strong role for rural development policy in the CAP in the future. Rural Development is crucial to meeting citizens’ expectations and for the development of a living countryside.

Rural Development support is targeting a high number of relatively small beneficiaries and projects. It is designed to meet the specific needs of rural citizens and businesses. For instance, Rural Development is the only policy designed to deliver last-mile connectivity (digital and physical).

Our approach to agriculture cannot be business as usual. It takes specialised knowledge and expertise to develop targeted and result-oriented support schemes which the Rural Development tool box offers. This allows for the necessary investment and knowledge measures where needed.

Furthermore, Rural Policy, in particular through LEADER, provides effective investments in rural capacity building, reconnecting with rural citizens at the local level. We need local people fully engaged on the ground for a living countryside and a policy that connects to their needs.

As you can see, Rural Development is having a positive and meaningful impact for rural citizens throughout the EU.

Therefore, it must form part of the CAP, side by side with the support offered under the first pillar. It is also, as you put it, a BIG deal when we look towards current and future challenges for primary producers and their related value chains.

In the context of the CAP modernisation debate I have highlighted three areas for action. Farm resilience, sustainable management of resources, and generational renewal. And Rural Development has a major role to play in all these areas.”  Read full  Speech by Commissioner Phil Hogan at Copa Cogeca 22 March

16/03/2017

CAP: Keynote Address by Commissioner Phil Hogan at the 73rd FNPL Congress in Langres, France – 16th March 2017

It is also my duty to be honest with you, to provide you with the facts, and to talk with you face to face about the political reality for Europe’s farmers in 2017. I am here to deliver one message loud and clear: I am 100% convinced that the Common Agricultural Policy remains the best hope for France’s dairy farmers to succeed, today and in the years to come.

Why do I say this? Because the facts show that the European Union continues to strongly support dairy farmers in good times and bad. As your Commissioner; as a proud advocate for this sector; as a defender of our hard-working family farmers; let me remind you of those facts.

When I took office in 2014, Europe was entering a profound and lasting dairy price crisis. We saw the storm clouds coming. And we took decisive action at every stage of the crisis, exhausting every legislative tool at our disposal.

Let me tell you what this meant in detail.  Read Speech in full Keynote Address by Commissioner Phil Hogan at the 73rd FNPL Congress in Langres, France – 16th March 2017

01/03/2017

The Common Agricultural Policy in figures – Think Tank

 The tables below show basic statistical data in several areas relating to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), namely: the agriculture and food industries in the Member States (Table II), the integration of environmental concerns into the CAP (Table III), the forestry sector (Table IV), CAP financing and expenditure (Tables I and V) and trade in agricultural and food products (Table VI).   Full details here

06/03/2017

CAP:  Common Agricultural Policy post-2020

The Agriculture Council had an exchange of views on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

In particular ministers shared ideas on how the priorities of the future CAP can be achieved, and on whether or not there should be a rebalancing of direct support and rural development.

Most delegations asked for adequate funding for the future CAP, which will have to face a variety of challenges including market volatility, climate change and pressure on resources.

Simplification was generally highlighted as an overall priority for future policies in order to release the full economic potential of EU farming and rural areas. Other issues indicated as priorities were: building resilience, responding to environmental challenges, investing in rural viability and vitality, ensuring generational renewal, maintaining a market orientation and strengthening farmers’ position in the food chain. The issue of risk management was touched upon by several delegations that expressed the need for a more robust response to market crises, including in the form of countercyclical measures. Innovation was also indicated as both a priority and a tool to face future challenges.

As for the pillar structure of the CAP, most delegations confirmed its validity. Some delegations were in favour of putting more emphasis on rural development in the future in order to invest in rural viability and vitality, whilst others warned against a reduction of direct support to farmers.

Concerning direct payments some delegations asked for their progressive harmonisation in all EU member states, in order to achieve real level playing field in the EU. Several also called on the Commission to maintain if not strengthen voluntary coupled support.

Though several delegations found it was too early to consider a rebalancing of the financial resources allocated to pillar I and pillar II, many asked for real flexibility between pillars at member state level.

06/03/2017:    

CAP:  Young farmers  (brochure on Young farmers and the CAP)

Faced with an ageing farming population, the European Union (EU) is stepping up its efforts to encourage young people to take up the baton. Young farmers are given a helping hand to get their business off the ground with start-up grants and other financial and practical support such as trainings. Supporting the next generation of European farmers not only enhances the future competitiveness of European agriculture, it also helps guarantee Europe’s food supplies for years to come.

The modern farm is a dynamic workplace, often using innovative technology such as milking robots or irrigation via mobile phones. Yet only 6 % of all farm holdings in Europe are run by farmers under 35 – and getting more young people interested in farming is a big challenge!

Helping young people to become farmers

That is why the EU has a number of programmes designed to encourage young people to become the next generation of European farmers.

For example, funding is available through the EU’s common agricultural policy to help young farmers set up and develop their business. Support is available for farmers starting up businesses who are 40 or under at the time of applying, and can be granted for up to five years.
Young farmers are encouraged by additional support from the CAP’s direct payments: national authorities have to set aside up to 2 % of their total allocation of direct payment funding in order to offer young farmers a bonus of 25 % (maximum) on their direct payments in their first five years of working in the sector. Young farmers also have priority when it comes to receiving direct payment funding from the national/regional reserve.
In addition, CAP rural development programmes (RDP) in each EU country often provide additional measures to help young farmers get started. This includes advice services for farmers setting up for the first time. See how one young Hungarian farmer set up her own business  with help from various EU schemes.
>> National or regional rural development programmes

Encouragement comes in other forms as well – for example, young farmers are seen as more likely to look to innovation to help develop their businesses. A number of programmes run by the European Innovation Partnership (EIP- AGRI) are designed to help encourage the take-up of innovative techniques for increasing output and reducing costs, for example. (Read the interview “Innovation for young European farmers” for more information).

What do young farmers need?

A recent survey of more than 2 000 farmers under 40 years in all 28 EU countries shows that after access to land to buy or to rent, what they need most is financial support (subsidies), access to credit and sufficient qualified labour. Needs, however, vary from country to country, as a separate report shows.

02 Febuary-02 May 2017:  

CAP:   Consultation on modernising and simplifying the common agricultural policy (CAP)

The EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was developed in the early sixties to translate in policy terms the objectives defined in the Treaty of Rome (1957), and subsequently taken over in the Treaty on the European Union. Like all other EU policies or programmes, the CAP is also subject to other provisions of the Treaty to ensure coherence with the overall objectives of the Union.

Article 39 of the Treaty (ex Article 33 TEC) specifies that the objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy shall be:

(a) to increase agricultural productivity by promoting technical progress and by ensuring the rational development of agricultural production and the optimum utilisation of the factors of production, in particular labour;

(b) thus to ensure a fair standard of living for the agricultural community, in particular by increasing the individual earnings of persons engaged in agriculture;

(c) to stabilise markets;

(d) to assure the availability of supplies;

(e) to ensure that supplies reach consumers at reasonable prices.

The CAP has undergone several waves of reforms, with the latest reform decided in 2013 and implemented in 2015. Since then, the context in which that reform was forged has shifted significantly. In particular:

Agricultural prices have fallen substantially and market uncertainty has increased, due amongst others to macroeconomic factors, geopolitical tensions, inhibiting a clear long-term planning of the sector

The emphasis of trade negotiations has moved more visibly from multilateral to bilateral deals, requiring a careful balancing of offensive and defensive interests, with due attention paid to certain sensitive sectors

The EU has signed up to new international commitments, especially those concerning climate change (through the 21st Conference of Parties COP 21) and broad aspects of sustainable development (through the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs), and is also exposed to other geopolitical developments such as new large-scale migration.

The above prompted a vigorous public debate about whether the 2013 reform went far enough to meet broader challenges related to the balance of support, the economic prospects for agriculture and rural areas, care for the environment (e.g. greening), action over climate change, sustainable and safe food production. Emerging opportunities in the areas of health, trade, the bioeconomy, the circular economy and the digital economy also need to be further considered.

Against this background, as part of its working programme for 2017, the Commission will take forward work and consult widely on simplification and modernisation of the CAP to maximise its contribution to the Commission’s ten priorities and to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This will focus on specific policy priorities for the future, taking into account the opinion of the REFIT Platform and without prejudice to the next Multiannual Financial Framework. The starting point must be will be a well-founded assessment of the performance of the current policy.

While the future of the CAP is already debated in various instances, the process will include a broad consultation and an impact assessment. The goal is to summarise available evidence on the performance of the CAP so far, draw lessons from the implementation of the latest reform, have a structured dialogue, confirm what the current difficulties are, and anticipate needs for modernisation and simplification of the CAP.

This questionnaire is part of this wide consultation process and will contribute to the impact assessment. Results of this questionnaire will be published on this webpage and communicated in a public conference in July 2017.

This consultation does not prejudge in any way the financial allocation for the CAP in the next MFF.

Questionnaire

This public consultation is open until the 2nd May 2017.

Inception Impact Assessment

Q & A

 05/05/2017

Commission agrees to delay CAP payments application deadline

03/05/2017

 

 

03/04/2017

CAP: Omnibus regulation

 

The Council had an exchange of views on the proposed regulation on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, the so-called Omnibus regulation, which proposes updates to legislation in several areas, including the common agricultural policy (CAP), and is part of the review of the multi-annual financial framework. The discussion was aimed to provide political orientation on the agricultural aspects of the proposal.

Delegations broadly supported the Presidency compromise package set out in 7527/1/17 REV 1 and addressed the few outstanding political issues (voluntary coupled support, young farmers, income stabilisation tool, etc.). The Commission invited ministers to prioritise simplification in their decisions, in order to facilitate a timely adoption of the regulation and its entry into force at the beginning of 2018.

On the basis of the political guidance given by ministers, the Special Committee on Agriculture will shortly finalise the agreement on the legal texts of the CAP regulations, and send them to the Friends of the Presidency group for the following stages of the negotiating procedure.

The Commission proposal on the Omnibus regulation was published in October 2016 as a part of the review package of the Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF). It includes changes applicable to all four basic CAP Regulations: direct payments, rural development, common market organisation, and horizontal regulation, with the aim of further simplifying the common agricultural policy to the benefit of both farmers and national authorities.

Some of the proposed changes include:

– the introduction of a sector specific income stabilisation tool in the rural development regulation

– simpler rules for accessing loans and other financial instruments

Read Agriculture Council results in full here

 

 

01/04/2017

CAP: Commission proposes annual reduction in direct payments to finance crisis reserve

The European Commission has adopted a proposal to reduce spending on support for farmers for the financial year 2018 in order to create a crisis reserve that can be used should the need arise.

The so-called financial discipline proposal is made each year and reduces spending under the common agricultural policy – specifically direct payments that are funded by the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) – in order to set aside €400m (in 2011 prices) to cover potential crises in agricultural markets.

The proposal for 2018 aims to reduce CAP direct payments in excess of €2 000 by 1.388149%, with the exception of direct payments for farmers in Croatia as they are still being phased into the scheme following their country’s accession to the EU. The money saved as a result will be used to ensure that a crisis reserve of €459.5 million (in current prices) is available in the 2018 budget.  The rate is slightly higher than the 1.353905% applied in 2017 (for a reserve of €450.5 million). Read  Commission proposes annual reduction in direct payments to finance crisis reserve

 

 

30/03/2017

CAP: Public Consultation on the future of the CAP: Thousands already have their say on future of food, farming and rural areas

29/03/2017

CAP: DIRECT PAYMENTS FOR FARMERS 2015-2020

While the rules governing Direct Payments are set at EU level, their implementation is managed directly by each Member State under the principle known as “shared management”.  This means that National Authorities are responsible for the administraiton and control of Direct Paymets to farmers in their Country.  Read more about Direct Payments here

 



28/03/2017

CAP:  Excerpts from Phil Hogan’s Address to the Forum for the Future of Agriculture – Is the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) fit for the SDG age?

The CAP has ensured food security in Europe since shortly after the end of the Second World War. Today it provides food security to millions of people way beyond the EU and, despite all the laudable objectives of helping people to feed themselves, that will continue to be the case, at least for decades to come.

The CAP also ensures that the people of Europe have access to high quality food, produced to the highest standards in the world.

If we are to maintain food security and the highest food standards in the world, we must continue to support European farmers through the CAP.

In addition, the CAP is a policy that reaches out to all parts of Europe, even to the most marginal rural areas. And this is where we need to act. The highest rate of poverty in the EU nowadays is to be found in rural areas.

The CAP is a policy that enables jobs, economic development and growth in those areas where it is most needed. The CAP is at the root of a vibrant agri-food sector, which provides for 44 million jobs in the EU. We should use this potential more.

Having said this about the policy, it is clear that it needs to adapt and modernise for the 21st century. Food has to be put at the centre of the debate and farmers actions have to be directed accordingly.

We must remember that the CAP is an economic, environmental and social policy and each one of these objectives is as important as the other. The choice is not a binary choice between one objective and another. It is a choice between a policy that delivers effectively for its stakeholders, including taxpayers, and one that doesn’t. Read full Address to the Forum for the Future of Agriculture 28 March 2017



22/03/2017

CAP: Address by Commissioner Phil Hogan at Copa/Cogeca event on Cork 2.0

“I want to make it very clear: I see a strong role for rural development policy in the CAP in the future. Rural Development is crucial to meeting citizens’ expectations and for the development of a living countryside.

Rural Development support is targeting a high number of relatively small beneficiaries and projects. It is designed to meet the specific needs of rural citizens and businesses. For instance, Rural Development is the only policy designed to deliver last-mile connectivity (digital and physical).

Our approach to agriculture cannot be business as usual. It takes specialised knowledge and expertise to develop targeted and result-oriented support schemes which the Rural Development tool box offers. This allows for the necessary investment and knowledge measures where needed.

Furthermore, Rural Policy, in particular through LEADER, provides effective investments in rural capacity building, reconnecting with rural citizens at the local level. We need local people fully engaged on the ground for a living countryside and a policy that connects to their needs.

As you can see, Rural Development is having a positive and meaningful impact for rural citizens throughout the EU.

Therefore, it must form part of the CAP, side by side with the support offered under the first pillar. It is also, as you put it, a BIG deal when we look towards current and future challenges for primary producers and their related value chains.

In the context of the CAP modernisation debate I have highlighted three areas for action. Farm resilience, sustainable management of resources, and generational renewal. And Rural Development has a major role to play in all these areas.”  Read full  Speech by Commissioner Phil Hogan at Copa Cogeca 22 March



16/03/2017

CAP: Keynote Address by Commissioner Phil Hogan at the 73rd FNPL Congress in Langres, France – 16th March 2017

It is also my duty to be honest with you, to provide you with the facts, and to talk with you face to face about the political reality for Europe’s farmers in 2017. I am here to deliver one message loud and clear: I am 100% convinced that the Common Agricultural Policy remains the best hope for France’s dairy farmers to succeed, today and in the years to come.

Why do I say this? Because the facts show that the European Union continues to strongly support dairy farmers in good times and bad. As your Commissioner; as a proud advocate for this sector; as a defender of our hard-working family farmers; let me remind you of those facts.

When I took office in 2014, Europe was entering a profound and lasting dairy price crisis. We saw the storm clouds coming. And we took decisive action at every stage of the crisis, exhausting every legislative tool at our disposal.

Let me tell you what this meant in detail.  Read Speech in full Keynote Address by Commissioner Phil Hogan at the 73rd FNPL Congress in Langres, France – 16th March 2017



01/03/2017

 

The Common Agricultural Policy in figures – Think Tank

 The tables below show basic statistical data in several areas relating to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), namely: the agriculture and food industries in the Member States (Table II), the integration of environmental concerns into the CAP (Table III), the forestry sector (Table IV), CAP financing and expenditure (Tables I and V) and trade in agricultural and food products (Table VI).   Full details here

 


06/02/2017

CAP:  Common Agricultural Policy post-2020

 

The Agriculture Council had an exchange of views on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

In particular ministers shared ideas on how the priorities of the future CAP can be achieved, and on whether or not there should be a rebalancing of direct support and rural development.

Most delegations asked for adequate funding for the future CAP, which will have to face a variety of challenges including market volatility, climate change and pressure on resources.

Simplification was generally highlighted as an overall priority for future policies in order to release the full economic potential of EU farming and rural areas. Other issues indicated as priorities were: building resilience, responding to environmental challenges, investing in rural viability and vitality, ensuring generational renewal, maintaining a market orientation and strengthening farmers’ position in the food chain. The issue of risk management was touched upon by several delegations that expressed the need for a more robust response to market crises, including in the form of countercyclical measures. Innovation was also indicated as both a priority and a tool to face future challenges.

As for the pillar structure of the CAP, most delegations confirmed its validity. Some delegations were in favour of putting more emphasis on rural development in the future in order to invest in rural viability and vitality, whilst others warned against a reduction of direct support to farmers.

Concerning direct payments some delegations asked for their progressive harmonisation in all EU member states, in order to achieve real level playing field in the EU. Several also called on the Commission to maintain if not strengthen voluntary coupled support.

Though several delegations found it was too early to consider a rebalancing of the financial resources allocated to pillar I and pillar II, many asked for real flexibility between pillars at member state level.

 

06/03/2017:    

CAP:  Young farmers  (brouchure on Young farmers and the CAP)

Faced with an ageing farming population, the European Union (EU) is stepping up its efforts to encourage young people to take up the baton. Young farmers are given a helping hand to get their business off the ground with start-up grants and other financial and practical support such as trainings. Supporting the next generation of European farmers not only enhances the future competitiveness of European agriculture, it also helps guarantee Europe’s food supplies for years to come.

The modern farm is a dynamic workplace, often using innovative technology such as milking robots or irrigation via mobile phones. Yet only 6 % of all farm holdings in Europe are run by farmers under 35 – and getting more young people interested in farming is a big challenge!

Helping young people to become farmers

That is why the EU has a number of programmes designed to encourage young people to become the next generation of European farmers.

For example, funding is available through the EU’s common agricultural policy to help young farmers set up and develop their business. Support is available for farmers starting up businesses who are 40 or under at the time of applying, and can be granted for up to five years.
Young farmers are encouraged by additional support from the CAP’s direct payments: national authorities have to set aside up to 2 % of their total allocation of direct payment funding in order to offer young farmers a bonus of 25 % (maximum) on their direct payments in their first five years of working in the sector. Young farmers also have priority when it comes to receiving direct payment funding from the national/regional reserve.
In addition, CAP rural development programmes (RDP) in each EU country often provide additional measures to help young farmers get started. This includes advice services for farmers setting up for the first time. See how one young Hungarian farmer set up her own business  with help from various EU schemes.
>> National or regional rural development programmes

 

Encouragement comes in other forms as well – for example, young farmers are seen as more likely to look to innovation to help develop their businesses. A number of programmes run by the European Innovation Partnership (EIP- AGRI) are designed to help encourage the take-up of innovative techniques for increasing output and reducing costs, for example. (Read the interview “Innovation for young European farmers” for more information).

 

What do young farmers need?

A recent survey of more than 2 000 farmers under 40 years in all 28 EU countries shows that after access to land to buy or to rent, what they need most is financial support (subsidies), access to credit and sufficient qualified labour. Needs, however, vary from country to country, as a separate report shows.

 

02 Febuary-02 May 2017:  

CAP:   Consultation on modernising and simplifying the common agricultural policy (CAP)

The EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was developed in the early sixties to translate in policy terms the objectives defined in the Treaty of Rome (1957), and subsequently taken over in the Treaty on the European Union. Like all other EU policies or programmes, the CAP is also subject to other provisions of the Treaty to ensure coherence with the overall objectives of the Union.

Article 39 of the Treaty (ex Article 33 TEC) specifies that the objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy shall be:

(a) to increase agricultural productivity by promoting technical progress and by ensuring the rational development of agricultural production and the optimum utilisation of the factors of production, in particular labour;

(b) thus to ensure a fair standard of living for the agricultural community, in particular by increasing the individual earnings of persons engaged in agriculture;

(c) to stabilise markets;

(d) to assure the availability of supplies;

(e) to ensure that supplies reach consumers at reasonable prices.

The CAP has undergone several waves of reforms, with the latest reform decided in 2013 and implemented in 2015. Since then, the context in which that reform was forged has shifted significantly. In particular:

Agricultural prices have fallen substantially and market uncertainty has increased, due amongst others to macroeconomic factors, geopolitical tensions, inhibiting a clear long-term planning of the sector

The emphasis of trade negotiations has moved more visibly from multilateral to bilateral deals, requiring a careful balancing of offensive and defensive interests, with due attention paid to certain sensitive sectors

The EU has signed up to new international commitments, especially those concerning climate change (through the 21st Conference of Parties COP 21) and broad aspects of sustainable development (through the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs), and is also exposed to other geopolitical developments such as new large-scale migration.

The above prompted a vigorous public debate about whether the 2013 reform went far enough to meet broader challenges related to the balance of support, the economic prospects for agriculture and rural areas, care for the environment (e.g. greening), action over climate change, sustainable and safe food production. Emerging opportunities in the areas of health, trade, the bioeconomy, the circular economy and the digital economy also need to be further considered.

Against this background, as part of its working programme for 2017, the Commission will take forward work and consult widely on simplification and modernisation of the CAP to maximise its contribution to the Commission’s ten priorities and to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This will focus on specific policy priorities for the future, taking into account the opinion of the REFIT Platform and without prejudice to the next Multiannual Financial Framework. The starting point must be will be a well-founded assessment of the performance of the current policy.

While the future of the CAP is already debated in various instances, the process will include a broad consultation and an impact assessment. The goal is to summarise available evidence on the performance of the CAP so far, draw lessons from the implementation of the latest reform, have a structured dialogue, confirm what the current difficulties are, and anticipate needs for modernisation and simplification of the CAP.

This questionnaire is part of this wide consultation process and will contribute to the impact assessment. Results of this questionnaire will be published on this webpage and communicated in a public conference in July 2017.

 

This consultation does not prejudge in any way the financial allocation for the CAP in the next MFF.

Questionnaire

This public consultation is open until the 2nd May 2017.

Inception Impact Assessment

Q & A

phil-hogan-cap27/01/2017

Read here Commissioner Phil Hogan’s Newsletter on: How does the CAP affect your life as an EU citizen?

 

 

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11/01/2017   

CAP:  Mapping and analysis of the implementation of the CAP – Final report November 2016

Mapping and analysis of the implementation of the CAP, financed by the European Commission, was carried out by ECORYS, the Institute for European Environmental Policy and Wageningen University and Research. The conclusions, recommendations and opinions presented in this report reflect the opinion of the consultant and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Commission.

Judgement on the quality of the report

Full text

Executive summary

Annexes:

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BXL EP + FLAG30/11/2016

CAP:  European Parliament Briefing on Common Agricultural Policy and revision of the 2014-2020 MFF  

 


 

 

 

cap28/10/2016

CAP: European Parliament Study CAP Reform Post-2020 – Challenges in Agriculture

 

 


 

 

 

BXL Rules and regulations 2

14/09/2016

CAP: Omnibus Regulation – Further Simplification of the CAP

Building on Commissioner Hogan’s commitment to simplify the Common Agricultural Policy and the four waves of simplification measures already introduced over the past year, a further series of measures have been included in the Omnibus Regulation published by the European Commission today.

The measures proposed today are aimed at further simplifying the policy with a view to easing the burden on and making life easier for both farmers and national authorities. While many of the measures proposed are quite technical in nature, a number are more significant in nature and should have a more significant impact on the simplification of the CAP.

In particular, changes are proposed to Rural Development Regulation to provide for a sector specific Income Stabilisation Tool. This will give MS the possibility to design a tool tailored for a specific sector, which it is intended will make it more attractive for both farmers and administrations.  The proposal also responds to the need to provide better means to support farmers in times of market crisis and reflects recent difficult experiences in a number of sectors.

A further substantial change has been proposed to the RD Regulation to introduce simpler rules for accessing loans and other Financial Instruments. These changes are intended to give the necessary boost to make better use of financial instruments in the agricultural sector and providing greater access to capital for farmers, particular young farmers for whom access to credit is an ongoing problem. The overall aim is to ensure the better targeting of public money and to increase the competitiveness of the farming sector.

In the Direct Payments Regulation, the Commission is proposing to allow MS greater discretion in the application of the definition of an “active farmer”. In effect, MS will be able to decide whether or not they wish to continue applying the existing definition of “active farmer”. If applied, the system will become considerably less burdensome and will substantially ease the paperwork for both farmers and national/regional administrations.

The proposals published today by the European Commission are part of the review package of the Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF). A full list of the measures included in the draft Omnibus Regulation is included in the attached annex and apply to all four of the basic CAP Regulations – Direct Payments, Rural Development, CMO and Horizontal Regulation.

The proposals made today require the full co-decision with the Council and the European Parliament, the proposed changes are not changing the orientation of the policy and the aim is that these elements, which form part of the recasting of the Financial Regulation, can be in force by the start of 2018.

Commenting on the Commission’s draft Omnibus Regulation, Commissioner Hogan said “the proposal made today is further evidence of my commitment and that of the Commission to simplify the application of rules across a range of areas. In terms of the Common Agricultural Policy, the changes proposed are all important and, taken with the previous simplification actions, will remove a number of key bottlenecks and make a considerable difference in the implementation of the policy, particularly to the benefit of farmers.

I have been and I remain focused on the simplification of the CAP and I am particularly pleased that a number of the changes proposed today, notably in relation to the IST, access to financial instruments and the application of the active farmer clause, respond directly to the concerns of farmers that I have been hearing consistently since my appointment and throughout my visits to Member States.”

 

 


 

 

 

EP STUDY CAPCAP: AUGUST 2016:   EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT STUDY: RESEARCH FOR AGRI COMMITTEE – THE INTERACTIONS BETWEEN THE EU’S EXTERNAL ACTION AND THE COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY

The CAP has been strongly influenced by the EU’s External Actions. The various Enlargements, and trade policies to favour its neighbours to both the East and South, and for its former colonies, have left their mark. However it is external pressures through the GATT/WTO that have had the most defining effect.

Current pressures stem from a new generation of Free Trade agreements, the need to reduce agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions, and to respond to Brexit.  Read the Study here


 

 

CAP IRELAND

July 2016: The CAP in Ireland

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is aimed at helping European farmers meet the needs of 500 million Europeans. Its main objectives are to provide a stable and safe food supply at affordable prices for consumers, while ensuring a decent standard of living for farmers.  More information on Ireland here

 


 

Agri employment

27/05/2016   CAP at a glance

The common agricultural policy (CAP) is aimed at helping European farmers meet the need to feed more than 500 million Europeans. Its main objectives are to provide a stable, sustainably produced supply of safe food at affordable prices for consumers, while also ensuring a decent standard of living for 22 million farmers and agricultural workers.

The EU agriculture sector has roughly 11 million farms, which provide work for roughly 22 million agri-workers. But this figure doubles to 44 million if you include also the jobs created in the food processing, food retail and food services, making the EU agri-food sector the largest employment sector in the economy.  More information here


 

CAP BEYOND THE CRISIS

05/04/2016  “CAP Beyond the Crisis – Paving the way for a sustainable growth for the EU”

 

Concluding Remarks –read speech in full here

The crisis in the agricultural markets, particularly in the dairy and pigmeat sectors, has been with us for some time now and looks likely to be with us for a while yet. It is useful, therefore, to have this opportunity to try to look beyond it and to see what the CAP can do, not alone for food producers but for society.

I have not dwelt to any degree on the measures that the Commission has taken to alleviate the pressure on producers, I think they are well understood at this stage. What I will say is that we have essentially deployed the full contents of the toolbox presented in the CAP. That includes measures never previously used such as the activation of Article 222 of the CMO, relating to cooperation among producers.

While how this measure will work is not in the hands of the Commission, I am anxious that it is used effectively as a contribution towards greater market balance in the dairy sector. It was with this in mind that I met last week with COPA-COGECA and the European Dairy Association (EDA) to outline how Article 222 of the CMO Regulation will and should work when it is activated by the Commission. I took the opportunity of those meetings to encourage its use with a view to ensuring that it would be an effective tool in contributing to a stabilisation of dairy production patterns.

I know that we will get beyond the crisis and when we do I want to encourage a greater understanding of the role of the CAP as a policy that delivers for society in the broadest sense, whether that it is in terms of providing jobs, growth and investment in the agri-food sector; meeting the needs of food security; through the provision of public environmental goods that contribute to the maintenance and protection of our rural landscapes or help to address the climate challenge that we must all face together.

I take confidence from the Eurobarometer surveys which show that the CAP enjoys the support of EU citizens. But I do not take that confidence for granted. It is something for which we must work, argue and explain.

With the right combination of policy and communication, I believe that we can secure the place of the Common Agricultural Policy as a policy that is central to the delivery of sustainable growth in the EU, today and tomorrow.

The CAP is not just about farming and food to deliver on the objective of food security. it is also about public goods for society, the means of implementation for which farmers are well placed to provide and it is also about valued-added jobs for rural areas.




Drapeaux européens devant le Berlaymont

29/03/2016

CAP: Financial Discipline in 2017 slightly lower than for 2016

The European Commission has adopted a proposal on the application of the financial discipline mechanism for the CAP budget for the financial year 2017.

In order to ensure that the crisis reserve of € 450.5 million is available in the 2017 budget, the proposal aims to reduce CAP Direct Payments exceeding € 2000 by 1.366744%, with the exception of direct payments for farmers in Croatia as they are still being phased-in. This rate is slightly lower than the 1.393041% that was applied in 2016 (for a reserve of € 441.6 million) as the 2017 exercise will include Romania and Bulgaria for the first time because Direct Payments in those countries will be fully phased-in.

According to EU budget rules, the Commission is obliged to table a proposal on financial discipline before the end of March. The Council and European Parliament now have until 30 June 2016 to fix the rate of financial discipline. In the absence of such an agreement by 30 June, the Commission will set the rate.

In drawing up the 2017 Draft Budget, the first budgetary estimates for direct payments and market related expenditure show that the net balance available for EAGF expenditure for 2017 is not likely to be exceeded and an additional financial discipline for budget year 2017 is therefore not needed for the purpose of respecting the EAGF ceiling.

In October, the Commission will present an amending letter to the 2017 draft budget, which will update forecast budget needs.

In that context, the Commission may then also update the rate of financial discipline no later than 1 December.

According to CAP legislation, amounts generated by financial discipline which remain available in the EAGF budget at the end of the financial year, including those of the crisis reserve, shall be reimbursed to farmers.



CAP INDICATORS
29/03/2016  CAP context indicators updated

As part of the 2013 CAP Reform and the emphasis given to performance-based EU spending, the Commission has established a set of CAP Indicators linked to output, results and impact – aimed at measuring the effects of policy measures.

Context indicators  have also been set up for monitoring general contextual trends in the economy, environment and society which may effect the performance of the CAP. The Commission has recently updated these context indicators with the latest figures available at the end of 2015 pdf file.   Read document in full here  pdf file

These show for example that the most recent survey (in 2013) put the number of EU farm holdings at 10.84 million, with an average size of 16.1 ha. The largest average holdings are in the Czech Republic (133 ha), the UK (94 ha) and Slovakia (81 ha). This compares with the previous available figures (for 2010) putting the EU average for 12.2 million holdings at 14.4 ha.


HOGAN AT EP AG CMTEE 18 JANCAP: Commissioner Hogan proposes a fairer and more transparent penalty system for direct payments

The latest tranche of simplification measures unveiled by EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan will include a raft of measures designed to end the “climate of fear” for farmers when applying for aid under the Common Agricultural Policy 

19/01/2016:   In line with the ongoing efforts to simplify the implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Commissioner Phil Hogan presented on 18 January  his latest proposals to the members of the Agriculture and Rural Development committee of the European Parliament, in Strasbourg.
The focus of the newly announced simplification package is on the penalty system for most direct payment schemes, to take into account reasonable concerns by farmers in case of unintentional mistakes while also reducing the frequency of errors and therefore protecting public funds.
The simplification package unveiled yesterday by Commissioner Hogan consists of three complementary elements. First of all, preliminary checks of aid applications would allow farmers to make corrections to their aid applications during a period of up to 35 days after the final date of submission without any penalties.
Second, the system of administrative penalties for direct payments would be simplified. Whereas the current system for the calculation of penalties is based on different categories that can result in penalties of sometime more than double than what is over-declared, the different categories will be replaced by a simple penalty, which is 1.5 times the area over-declared. This reduced level of penalties, when approved, would apply for 2016. Small over-declarations that are up to 3 per cent of the area declared or 2 hectares would continue to not be penalised.
Third, a ‘yellow card’ system for first offenders would be introduced. Where the over-declaration is minor (below 10% of the area determined), the administrative penalty would be cut in half.
Farmers having received a yellow card will be registered and will be subject to an on-the-spot control the following year.
Commenting on the proposed changes, Commissioner Hogan said: “These simplification measures should have a direct effect on farmers, sending a clear message that our interest is not to catch farmers out as it were, but ensure that public money is well spent. Farmers, I know, fully support that goal.  Read more

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 article 68CAP:  Evaluation of Article 68 measures

The evaluation of Article 68 measures, financed by the European Commission, was carried out by Agrosynergie GEIE, consortium composed of Oréade-Brèche Sarl and COGEA S.r.l. The conclusions, recommendations and opinions presented in this report reflect the opinion of the consultant and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Commission.

 

The Specific Support under Article 68

In 2003, a substantial reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) introduced the full decoupling of direct aids from production. This could have strong transitional effects. Member States were thus allowed to grant optional coupled payments in specific cases. This optionality was maintained after the CAP Health Check in 2009 with the introduction of Article 68 of Council Regulation (EC) 73/2009. It broadened the range of such Specific Support, with the possibility of granting coupled or decoupled payments depending on the objectives assigned.   Read more

Judgement on the quality of the report 

Full text of the Report 

Executive summary 

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CAP SIMPLIFICTATION STATE OF PLAY 05-01-2016

Read here the European Parliament Briefing on CAP simplification: State of play – 05-01-2016

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for 2014-2020, with a budget of €408.31 billion and more than 7 million beneficiaries across Europe, was approved in 2013. At Member State level, implementation began in 2015 and is still ongoing. In this context, simplification of the CAP is an objective shared by the European institutions as well as national administrations, stakeholders, and above all, farmers. The Commission considers CAP simplification to be a key priority, even more today than in the past, as confirmed by Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan’s address to the European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development in December 2014. The Commission has already started the simplification process, and at the end of 2015 put forward a technical simplification package consisting of delegated and implementing acts. Another simplification package is scheduled for spring 2016. In May 2015, at the European Parliament hearing on ‘How to simplify the Common Agricultural Policy’, some Members insisted that, if the Commission were serious about simplifying the CAP and reducing bureaucracy, it would need to review the legal text and not simply make changes by way of secondary legislation. Nonetheless, it appears unlikely that a major restructuring of the basic architecture of the CAP will take place in the current programming period. Instead, a fine-tuning or light review of certain of its elements might be anticipated. More substantial proposals for a post 2020 CAP might be presented only after 2017, in line with the communication on the post 2020 Multiannual Financial Framework. In this context, particularly regarding the political elements of the CAP, the role of the European Parliament, as co-legislator, is significant and will be of utmost importance for an effective simplification process.

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Eurobarometer: Europeans, Agriculture and the CAP

cap barametre06/01/2016:  There is broad support among Europeans for the contribution of the CAP to the European Commission’s top priorities, according to a new Eurobarometer survey, with nearly half of the respondents considering the role of the CAP “very important” for stimulating jobs and growth and for supporting the role of the farmer in the food chain. Other responses highlight the importance for the future that the general public puts on agriculture and rural areas (>90%) and confirm the trend from previous surveys which shows increasing concern for agriculture and rural areas as well as improved awareness of the CAP.

 

 

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The CAP

County_Mayo-Ireland-Rural_area

  Overview 

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  The CAP Post 2013

Lough_derg

  FAQ

rural_ireland

  Simplification

 

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Read here the study on the “Implementation of the First Pillar of the CAP 2014-2020 in EU Member States and Annexes” 10/12/2015

FIRST PILLAR OF CAP

The 2014-2020 reform introduced many relevant changes in the tool box of the CAP.  Within Pillar I of the most relevant issues has been that of direct payments, which became more targeted at specified goals than they have been in the past.  Another key issue is the role of Members States in tailoring the new CAP according to the needs of their primary sector.

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HOGAN SPEECH“The CAP: Meeting the major challenges”, Speech by Commissioner Hogan at the EU Agricultural Outlook Conference in Brussels – Agriculture and rural development. 01/12/2015

 

Speaking in front of over 400 stakeholders from the agricultural sector, Commissioner Hogan today presented his vision for agriculture in the European Union and the future of the Common Agricultural Policy.
Commissioner Hogan said: “The contribution of the CAP to addressing the economic, social and environmental issues shows that it is a policy not just for farmers but for all the people of Europe”.
He wholeheartedly applauded and praised farmers for their efforts to mitigate climate change and make the greening of the CAP work on the ground; however he added that climate-smart agriculture must go in hand in hand with ensuring that farming remains viable, underlining that feeding the world is a global necessity and “we must support our producers using all the instruments at our disposal”.
In this context, Commissioner Hogan also announced several upcoming trade missions to boost EU agri-food exports, concluding that the CAP must keep on delivering for all EU citizens and remain a living policy, fit-for-purpose – a Common Agricultural and Food Policy”.
Highlighting that the CAP is “the only EU policy which is fully integrated and funded from the EU budget”, Commissioner Hogan said that with the CAP, the EU is “driving a key strategic sector for the European economy and for European society”, and that the EU’s agricultural sector is becoming more innovative and competitive thanks to the CAP.

“The CAP: Meeting the major challenges”, Speech by Commissioner Hogan at the EU Agricultural Outlook Conference in Brussels – Agriculture and rural development >> Read Commissioner Hogan’s speech

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HOGAN AT AG COUNCILSimplification of the Common Agricultural 

The Council had an exchange of views on the state of play of the simplification of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The Commission presented its simplification agenda as a follow-up toPolicy 16/11/2015

the Council conclusions on CAP simplification (8485/15).

Member states welcomed the Commission proposal to review firstly the delegated and

implementing acts of the reformed CAP in line with the Council conclusions. The most important

issues highlighted by member states as needing simplification in the area of direct payments were

the ‘greening’ measures and the controls. Also noted were, for rural development, the programming

and approval. Delegations were divided on the opportunity to envisage the review of basic acts of

the CAP in the longer term.

The Commission proposed the implementation of simplification measures of delegated and

implementing acts of the reformed CAP in particular as regards the regulation on single common

market organisation (single CMO) and the regulation on direct payments (except the greening

measures). Those measures adopted at the end of this year could be implemented in 2016.

In addition, the Commission considers the adoption next year of other simplification measures on

single CMO and on the greening of the direct payments for implementation in 2017.

 

CAP simplification is part of the EU’s overall strategy to streamline and reduce EU legislation

wherever possible. In this context, the EU institutions decided to look at what has been agreed in

the recent CAP reform and see what improvements can be made in the short or medium term and

also what could be done better next time.

Read also:

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Read the briefing by the European Parliament on Supporting Young Farmers here

bxl RESULTS AGRICULTUE COUNCIL

Simplification of the CAP

Simplification of the CAP

Simplification of the CAP

Simplification of the CAP

Simplification of the CAP

Simplification of the CAP

Simplification of the CAP

CAP SIMPLIFICATION

PHIL HOGAN - 1

 

Council conclusions on simplification of CAP

The Council adopted conclusions on the simplification of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Since the beginning of 2015, this issue has become one of the priorities for the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission. In recent months, the Presidency has consulted ministers and summarised their views on priority areas for simplification, based on the national experiences of implementation of the recently reformed CAP.

The President of the Council, Minister Duklavs declared : 
“With these conclusions the Council reaffirms its strong commitment to make the new CAP easier to implement for all actors involved “..

Council conclusions on the Simplification of the Common Agriculture Policy 11

Simplifying the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

Outcome of the Agriculture Council meeting

11/05/2015:  CAP simplification: Commissioner Hogan announces first actions and further steps

A first set of concrete actions towards CAP simplification have been announced by EU Agriculture & Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan today, on issues related to the guidelines for Direct Payments this year. In a debate on CAP Simplification at today’s Agriculture Council, the Commissioner outlined certain changes which can be implemented this year and explained the further steps envisaged.  Read announcement in full: CAP simplification

  

 

AGRICULTURE

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Read all about the EU and the Common Agricultural Policy  here

CAP SIMPLIFICATION

PHIL HOGAN - 2

Discussion on Simplification at the European Parliament Agriculture Committee on Tuesday 24 March. Read the speaking notes by Commissioner Phil Hogan here

Video of the committee meeting – Tuesday, 24 March 2015 – 09:06 – Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development

CAP- Direct payments – 23 January

Direct payments are payments granted directly to farmers under certain support schemes.  Examples are the Single Payment Scheme and  the Single Area Payment Scheme

The recent CAP reform introduced a new system of direct payments. >> Slide show: “Implementation of the new system of direct payments – Member State notifications”This synthesis reflects the content of Member States’ notifications available to the Commission services on 23/01/2015. It is made available without prejudice to any finding in respect of their compliance with the regulatory Framework.

On 16 January 2015,  at the “Green Week” in Berlin, Commissioner Phil Hogan launched a new publication that showcases how the CAP works hand in hand with EU development aims. The document explains how the EU’s agricultural policy meets the EU’s commitment to policy coherence for development, which aims to minimise problems for developing countries due to policies. The new publication reflects the importance of agriculture to development throughout this development-focused year. 2015, the European Year for Development, will see the culmination of the international community’s work on new Sustainable Development Goals and EXPO Milano


Antitrust: Commission consults on draft guidelines on joint selling of olive oïl, beef, veal and arable crops – 15 January 2015

The European Commission is inviting comments on new draft guidelines on the application of EU antitrust rules in the agricultural sector. After a reform of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), new specific rules apply to the sale of olive oil, beef and veal livestock and arable crops. In particular, the new rules allow producers to jointly commercialise these products if certain conditions are fulfilled, including that their cooperation creates significant efficiencies. The Commission’s guidelines will contribute to ensuring that the implementation of the CAP reform improves the functioning of the food supply chain and safeguards effective competition and innovation on the markets for agricultural products. Responses to the public consultation can be submitted until 5 May 2015. In light of the submissions received, the Commission will then review its proposal, with the aim of adopting final guidelines by the end of 2015. On 1 January 2014, the new EU CAP (see also Memo) entered into force, including a specific competition regime for certain agricultural products. In particular, the reform allows producers jointly commercialise olive oil, beef and veal livestock and arable crops via producer organisations or associations of producer organisations, provided that: i.     Such organisations should make farmers significantly more efficient by providing supporting services, such as storage, distribution or transport services; and ii.     The quantity marketed by the organisation does not exceed certain thresholds. The Commission is now providing guidance on how these new rules can be best used to boost investment and growth, while maintaining a level playing field for all operators in the Single Market. In particular, the draft guidelines set out:

  • examples of how producer organisations can provide services that generate significant efficiencies for farmers;
  • guidance on how to check that the volumes marketed by producer organisations do not exceed certain production volume limits; and
  • the situations in which competition authorities may apply a safeguard clause and have joint commercialisation contracts by a producer organisation re-opened or cancelled.

National competition authorities and ministries of agriculture have already been consulted on this proposal. The Commission now invites stakeholders to provide their views on the draft guidelines. Contributions can be sent until 5 May 2015. The Commission will present the proposals in a conference on 4 March 2015 to stakeholders, national competition authorities and ministries of agriculture. The full text of the proposals is available here: http://ec.europa.eu/competition/consultations/2015_cmo_regulation/index_en.html Background The Commission’s impact assessment in the context of the CAP reform pointed out the need to improve the functioning of the food supply chain and to create the right conditions for the agricultural sector to become more competitive and innovative. In particular, this implies encouraging cooperation between farmers while ensuring competition in the sector. The 2013 CAP Reform modifies antitrust rules for the agricultural sector, in particular as regards the olive oil, beef and veal and arable crops sectors. The new rules are laid out in Regulation 1308/2013 establishing a Common Market Organisation for agricultural products (“CMO Regulation“). In June 2014, the Commission announced that it would provide guidelines about potential competition law issues arising in the implementation of this new regime. Moreover, the Parliament has requested to ensure a consistent application of the 2013 CAP reform across EU Member States and Article 206 of the CMO Regulation requires the Commission to adopt guidelines to that effect where appropriate.

IP/15/3322


CAP context indicators – 14 January 2015 Context indicators reflect relevant aspects of the general contextual trends in the economy, environment and society that are likely to have an influence on the implementation, achievements and performance of the CAP. A set of 45 indicators has been identified to describe the general context in which policy measures are designed, planned and implemented. They form part of the monitoring and evaluation framework for the CAP 2014-2020 and are used in rural development programmes for a comprehensive overall description of the current situation of the programming area. The European Commission provides an annual update of data (subject to availability) for these indicators. >> Go to the 2014 context indicator update


 

BXL STUDY THE FIRST CAP REFORM CAP REFORM STUDY – 09 JANUARY 2015 European Parliament Study ” The first CAP Reform Under the ordinary legislative procedure: A political Economy Perspective”.

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION Campaign on the new CAP “Taking care of our roots” http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/cap-for-our-roots/index_en.htm Basic regulations of the new CAP http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/newsroom/155_en.htm Legal proposals http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/cap-post-2013/legal-proposals/index_en.htm


13/12/2014     Phil Hogan Commissioner  said Simplification as a top priority in 2015

 

31/07/2014      Official Journal L277

The European Commission has today published further detailed rules relating to the implementation of the CAP reform.

These include delegated and implementing acts linked to support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) (supplementing the “Rural Development” Basic Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013).

>> Read the delegated act in the Official Journal

>> Read the implementing act in the Official Journal

With the publication of these texts, Member States now have all the detailed elements they require in order to programme and implement rural development support as part of the CAP reform at national and regional level.

The European Commission also published the implementing act laying down rules for the application of Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 (the “Horizontal Regulation”) with regard to the integrated administration and control system (IACS), rural development measures and cross compliance.

>> Read the implementing act in the Official Journal

This complements the recent publication, on 20 June 2014, of delegated and implementing acts linked to direct payments (supplementing the “Direct Payments” Basic Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013), and of a delegated act relating to the integrated administration and control system (IACS) and conditions for refusal or withdrawal of payments and administrative penalties applicable to direct payments, rural development support and cross compliance.

With today’s publication, the entire set of rules related to direct payments schemes, including from an administration and control point of view, is now available to Member States and farmers. Member States now have all the detailed elements they require in order to implement direct payment aspects of CAP reform at national or regional level as from 1 January 2015.

More information

>> Broad summary of the main elements of these (and other) delegated acts, originally published on 

09/07/2014

A report published today by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) reveals that the Commission did not adequately supervise Member States for the calculation of payment entitlements to EU farm support under the Single Payment Scheme in the period 2010-2012. The distribution of the available support by the Member States was not always consistent with EU principles and policy objectives and the payment entitlements were sometimes incorrectly calculated.”

CAP Reform: further delegated and implementing acts on aspects of direct payments and rural development

20/06/2014       >> Read the working document 20/06/2014       Official Journal L181 11/03/2014       Delegated acts on the CAP Reform – an explanation of the main elements


CAP reform – basic Regulations

The four basic EU regulations of the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are published in the Official Journal of 20 December 2013.

These four legislative texts reflect the political agreement between the European Commission, EU Member States Agriculture Ministers (in the Council) and the European Parliament. With these new rules, the vast majority of CAP legislation will be defined under four consecutive Regulations – a significant simplification – covering:

To ensure a smooth transition, Regulation 1310/2013 lays down certain transitional provisions as regards the application of the four basic regulations in the year 2014.

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