Copa-Cogeca outlines key changes to make new CAP work

Chairman of Copa-Cogecas Working Party on greening and direct payments under the new CAP Udo Hemmerling warned in a hearing organized by European Parliaments Agriculture Committee today that it is unacceptable that farmers risk losing their full payment when making small errors when applying environmental greening measures under the new CAP.

Speaking at the event, he said “We want to make the new CAP a success especially as it benefits the whole of society but more tolerance is needed in the first year “.

Outlining key points set out in a list of concrete proposals, he said “The greening measures are highly bureaucratic and a reduction in red tape could better help farmers achieve the desired environmental benefits. We welcome Farm Commissioner Hogans’ launch of a CAP simplification process this year and we will actively participate in it. Already, he listened to our concerns in the case of postponing the deadline for the aid application this year. We look forward to more solutions like this one to give legal certainty to farmers”.

“For example, we need to clarify the five year definition of permanent grassland and simplify rules vis a vis the Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) to avoid that farmers have to take a percentage of land out of production. Greening payment reductions and sanctions must be revised too”, he said. “To loose up to the whole greening payment in cases of making even small mistakes when implementing the greening rules is a huge penalty for farmers to bear. Going beyond the 30% payment cut is unacceptable in 2018″, he warned. Opportunities from the new EU rural development programmes also need to be unlocked, with an acceleration of the approval of the remaining national/rural development programmes, he added. We also need to ensure that there is a level playing field across the EU in cross compliance, he concluded.

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