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Direct aids to EU farmers: 80% of beneficiaries receive 20% of payments

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Friday, 05 April 2013

Direct aids to EU farmers: 80% of beneficiaries receive 20% of payments

Direct payments are still not equally distributed among beneficiaries in Member States of the European Union, the most recent report on the global distribution of direct payments by Member State, with final data for 2011 shows.
The report published by the European Commission on March 22 reveals that 80% of beneficiaries receive around 20% of payments (however with important differences between Member States).
This figure has been a feature of CAP support for many years, which the Commission is seeking to address in its reform concept.

The Commission's CAP reform proposals aim at a fairer distribution of direct payments between Member States and between farmers, also through proposals for a degressivity of payments from € 150 000 onwards and capping at € 300 000, which was approved until the current state of the reform. Also, according to the latest vote of the European Parliament, differences among EU member states in the levels of EU funding for farmers should be reduced slightly faster than the European Commission proposed. No member state's farmers should receive less than 65% of the EU average. The EP also voted for the creation of a list of land-owners, such as airports and sports clubs, which should automatically be excluded from funding unless they prove that farming contributes a substantial share of their income.

Direct payments in 2011 amounted to €40.2 billion, approximately 72% of the support provided to farmers by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). This represents a 1.3 % increase as compared to 2010, due to the continued phasing-in of direct payments in new Member States.
The report also confirms that 92% of these payments are now "decoupled", which means that they are not linked to what and how much individual farmers produce. This reflects the evolution of farm support over time, from mainly price support measures in the 1970s and 1980s to the proposed combination of direct income support and a payment for sustainable farming practices.
The report includes detailed analyses of direct payments and farm structure per country and groups of countries.

Source: European Commission