COMMISSION ADOPTS FIRST ELEMENTS OF THE PACKAGE FOR FARMERS – 01 OCTOBER

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COMMISSION ADOPTS FIRST ELEMENTS OF THE PACKAGE FOR FARMERS - 01 OCTOBER
01 Oct 2015

COMMISSION ADOPTS FIRST ELEMENTS OF THE PACKAGE FOR FARMERS – 01 OCTOBER

Brussels Daily

Commission adopts first elements of 500 million € package for farmers 01/10/2015

 

The first elements of the special aid package for EU farmers worth 500 million EURO, announced by the European Commission in early September*, have now been adopted by the European Commission. Draft rules for most of the other measures have also been presented to Member State experts today and will formally be approved in the coming days and weeks. The largest part of the package is a targeted aid scheme worth 420 million EURO, which is allocated to Member States in the form of national envelopes for distribution  mainly to dairy and pigmeat farmers, targeting those sectors that have been most adversely affected by the market situation. To aid cash-flow difficulties, the Commission has also published today (October 1) a new Implementing Regulation which provides more flexibility to Member States to pay out earlier a greater share than usual of the CAP Direct Payments and area related payments from Rural Development. In addition to this, the Commission has finalised texts related to reinforced Private Storage Aid schemes for certain dairy products to address the market imbalance and increased funding for promotion especially on non-EU markets (+30 million EURO). Furthermore, the Commission continues to monitor closely the pigmeat market and is ready to activate an enhanced Private Storage Aid scheme for pigmeat. In a further initiative, led by DG ECHO, the Commission is moving to provide 30 million EURO to support the nutritional requirements of refuges within the EU.

Commissioner Phil Hogan said today: “As part of this package is aimed at addressing the more short-term cash-flow problems that many farmers face, I am delighted that we have been able to move so quickly. It is now up to national administrations to ensure that objective criteria are defined and the funds are able to reach farmers without delay.”

* see Speech by Vice-President Jyrki Katainen to the Agriculture Council on September 7 and Speech by EU Agriculture & Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan to the Informal Agriculture Council on September 15

 

Background:

A series of “Implementing” and “Delegated” Acts relating to these measures will be adopted in due course, following consultation in the relevant Committee and expert group meetings

 

Improved private storage aid (PSA) scheme for skimmed milk powder (SMP): In addition to the existing PSA schemes for butter and SMP, the Commission will open an enhanced scheme to alleviate pressure on the supply side of the market more effectively. This is a new tool, using PSA to guarantee that surplus products are effectively kept out of the market for a sufficiently long period to enable the market to recover. This scheme applies to SMP only (as the butter market is suffering less from market disturbance). This is an Implementing Regulation (supported by Member States in a vote in the October 1 CMO Committee) which will be adopted by the Commission in the coming days and enter into force immediately.

 

Targeted aid: From an overall budget of 420 million EURO from the CAP budget, financial envelopes will be provided to Member States so that they can effectively help their most affected livestock farmers on the basis of objective and non-discriminatory criteria. The distribution among Member States is based on national milk quotas (2014-15), with additional amounts to reflect those with lower prices, those more affected by the Russian embargo, and further amounts reflecting feed crop problems related to drought. This is a Delegated Regulation with urgency procedure (based on Article 219 of Regulation 1308/2013), which was discussed with Member State experts today (October 1) and will be adopted by the Commission in the coming days. It will come into force immediately, but can subsequently be challenged by the EP or the Council.

 

National envelopes among Member States for 420 million EURO targeted aid measures (in EURO)

Belgium

13 049 568

Bulgaria

6 004 009

Czech Rep

11 155 561

Denmark

11 103 077

Germany

69 233 789

Estonia

7 561 692

Ireland

13 734 230

Greece

2 258 253

Spain

25 526 629

France

62 899 543

Croatia

1 812 383

Italy

25 017 897

Cyprus

354 997

Latvia

8 452 333

Lithuania

12 631 869

Luxembourg

669 120

Hungary

9 505 286

Malta

119 570

Netherlands

29 937 209

Austria

7 004 590

Poland

28 946 973

Portugal

4 764 178

Romania

11 145 958

Slovenia

1 368 433

Slovakia

2 464 247

Finland

8 985 522

Sweden

8 220 625

UK

36 072 462

 

 

EU

420 000 000

 

Private storage aid (PSA) for cheese: To help cheese makers who need more time to secure new market outlets and to relieve pressure on the dairy supply side, private storage aid is proposed for 100 000 t of cheese. Learning from last year’s experience, the proposed scheme foresees a breakdown of the total volume per Member State based on their respective cheese production. This is a Delegated Regulation with urgency procedure (based on Article 219 of Regulation 1308/2013) which was discussed with Member State experts today (October 1) and will be adopted by the Commission in the coming days. It will come into force immediately, but can subsequently be challenged by the EP or the Council.

 

 

Maximum quantities of cheese foreseen for each Member State under PSA measure (in tonnes)

 

Belgium

1 243

Bulgaria

696

Czech Rep

1 421

Denmark

3 334

Germany

23 626

Estonia

454

Ireland

1 835

Greece

1 880

Spain

3 635

France

20 830

Croatia

348

Italy

12 015

Cyprus

199

Latvia

348

Lithuania

1 163

Luxembourg

33

Hungary

827

Malta

30

Netherlands

8 156

Austria

1 968

Poland

7 859

Portugal

704

Romania

797

Slovenia

164

Slovakia

426

Finland

1 210

Sweden

945

UK

3 854

 

 

EU

100 000

 

 

Increased rate of advances for CAP Direct Payments and certain Rural Development measures: In order to address cash-flow problems, the Commission is raising the amount of CAP funds that can be paid early to farmers (from October 16 onwards) for CAP direct payments (from 50% to 70%) and area-based and animal-related Rural Development measures (from 75% to 85%) from 1st October. Under current rules, advance payments can only be made after the verification of the eligibility conditions has been finalised for all farmers, meaning administrative checks and on-the-spot checks. By way of derogation, advances may be paid after administrative checks have been finalised. This is an Implementing Regulationderogating from the Article 75 of Reg. (EU) No1306/2013 supported by Member States in a vote in the Direct Payments Committee last week and published as Commission Implementing Regulation 2015/1748in the Official Journal today (October 1).

 

Increase of the total amount of the Annual Work Programme 2016 for promotion measures

As a more medium-term measure to support the agri-food sector’s attempts to find new markets, the Commission is increasing the available budget for promotion programmes in 2016 by 30 million EURO for dairy and pigmeat programmes with 70% of this targeted at export markets. This will coincide with the new Promotion policy (Regulation 1144/2014), which enters into force on December 1, 2015. The new policy will makes the following changes: the general EU-co-financing rates go up from 50% to 70-80%; the scope of eligible products is widened to all Annex I products (apart from  tobacco); compared to the current policy framework the promotion of generic pigmeat on the internal market may now also benefit from EU support; new types of beneficiaries (e.g. producer organisations) are eligible for support; and the annual budget will more than triple from 60 EUR million to 200 EUR million in 2019. This is an Implementing Regulation (supported by Member States in a vote in the CMO Committee on September 29) which has been adopted by the Commission today (October 1) and enters into force immediately.

 

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