Brussels Daily
02 Oct 2015


Brussels Daily

Commission adopts first elements of €500 million package for farmers

The first elements of the special aid package for EU farmers worth €500 million, announced 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 States 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, which is allocated to Member States. To aid cash-flow difficulties, the Commission has also published a new Implementing Regulation which provides more flexibility to Member States to pay out earlier a greater share than usual of the Common Agricultural Policy 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). 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 to support the nutritional requirements of refugeeswithin the EU. Commissioner Phil Hogan said: “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.” More information is available here.

Protecting Europe’s nature: more ambition needed to halt biodiversity loss by 2020

The mid-term review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy assesses whether the EU is on track to achieve the objective of halting biodiversity loss by 2020. The results show progress in many areas, but highlight the need for much greater effort to deliver commitments on implementation by Member States. Nature’s capacity to clean the air and water, to pollinate crops and to limit the impacts of catastrophes such as flooding is being compromised, with potentially significant unforeseen costs to society and our economy. European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, said: “There are plenty of lessons to be drawn from this report – some good progress, and good examples to be emulated, but much more work is needed to close the gaps and reach our biodiversity targets by 2020. There is no room for complacency – losing biodiversity means losing our life-support system. We can’t afford that, and neither can our economy.” An EU-wide opinion poll, also published today, confirms that the majority of Europeans are concerned about the effects of biodiversity loss and recognise the negative impact this can have on human health and ultimately on our long-term economic development. A press release is available

Read today’s Daily News in full: Daily News 02 – 10 – 2015


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