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Thursday, 17 November 2011

CAP reform: no agreement on direct payments yet

At the Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 14 November 2011, the ministers had an exchange of views on a regulation establishing rules for direct payment to farmers under support schemes within the framework of the common agricultural policy (CAP) (15396/11).

As regards the proposed structure for direct payments for 2014-2020, and the possible adjustments to envisage, several member states questioned the proposed definition of "active farmer" and some elements of the "greening", like the share of national envelopes devoted for this task of fraction of agricultural land to become ecological focused areas. However, actions proposed in favour of small farms and young farmers were generally well received, also some countries thought they should be voluntary.

In addition, a vast majority of delegations insisted that the new procedures for direct payments seemed to run counter to the important objective of simplification of the CAP.

Concerning the distribution of direct payments between member states several member states raised concerns or stated their opposition to the proposed redistribution of payments between member states. The proposal on direct payments is part of the CAP reform package which was presented by the Commission during the last Agriculture Council in October. At this occasion, the Council held a public debate on the whole package.

Together with the proposals on rural development, on single common market organisation and on the financing of the CAP, the regulation one direct payments is one of the four main proposals which have to be co-decided by ordinary legislative procedure (OLP) between the Council and the European Parliament. Concerning the CAP reform, the Council will hold one more policy debate on rural development in December.

Source: Council of Ministers