Tag Archives: Common Agricultural Policy

Single Farm Payment

Single Farm Payment

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Single Farm Payment

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Agriculture > General framework

Single Farm Payment

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 73/2009 of 19 January 2009 establishing common rules for direct support schemes for farmers under the common agricultural policy and establishing certain support schemes for farmers, amending Regulations (EC) No 1290/2005, (EC) No 247/2006, (EC) No 378/2007 and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 [See amending act(s)].

Summary

Since the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which took place in June 2003, production-related support has been gradually abolished and included in the Single Payment Scheme (SPS), the system of direct payments which European farmers benefit from. This Regulation continues this reform.

Direct payments are support granted to farmers directly under the framework of one of the support schemes listed in Annex I to the Regulation. Some of this support is still directly linked to production; however the majority of direct support is decoupled and granted under the auspices of an income support scheme called the “Single Payment Scheme” (SPS). Under the SPS, support granted to farmers is not linked to production.

The objective of this Regulation is to gradually integrate support coupled with production into the single payment scheme.

DIRECT PAYMENTS

Cross-compliance

Direct support is subject to the principle of ‘cross-compliance’, according to which farmers must comply with a certain number of requirements in order to receive payments. These requirements relate to three areas:

  • public health, animal and plant health;
  • the environment;
  • animal welfare.

If the farmer does not comply with these requirements, they are penalised with a reduction in or cancellation of the direct payments.

Modulation

Modulation is a system of compulsory progressive reduction of direct payments. Direct payments of over EUR 5 000 have therefore been reduced year on year in accordance with a particular percentage of up to 10 % by 2012.

The corresponding amounts are transferred to the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) to enhance rural development programmes, in particular for measures concerning climate change, renewable energies, water management and biodiversity. The modulation system does not apply to either the outermost regions, the Aegean Islands or to Member States subject to “phasing in”.

Farm advisory system

Farmers may take part in the farm advisory system set up by Member States to advise farmers with regard to compliance with regulatory requirements on management matters and good farming and environmental conditions.

Integrated administration and control system (IACS)

Each Member State must set up an integrated administration and control system which enables the efficiency and monitoring of the support granted to farmers by the EU to be improved. Through this electronic system, the Member State is able to deal with aid applications and be assured through administrative checks and on-site checks that payments are made properly, in order to prevent and, if necessary, manage irregularities and recover undue amounts.

Payment

Full payments are to be made to beneficiaries in one or two instalments per year between 1 December and 30 June of the following calendar year. The Commission may authorise advances. Farmers who have artificially created the conditions required for obtaining payments will not receive them.

SINGLE PAYMENT SCHEME

The single payment scheme allocates aid to farmers irrespective of their production. The principal aim of this system of support is to ensure greater income stability for farmers. The latter henceforth receive the same amount of support regardless of their rate of production. This enables them to align their production with market demands. The aim of the Single Payment Scheme is also to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of agriculture.

National ceilings

Budget ceilings for the Single Payment Scheme for each Member State are published each year in a Commission Regulation.

National reserve

Member States set up a national reserve to grant rights to payments to new farmers and to those deemed to be in special circumstances, and to establish rights for farmers in areas subject to restructuring and/or development programmes.

Payment entitlements

In order to benefit from the Single Payment Scheme, farmers must first have payment entitlements, which they must declare together with the eligible hectares. The payment entitlements may be transferred from one farmer to another under certain conditions.

Historic implementation

In the “historic model”, entitlements are calculated based on the amount of direct payments each farmer has received during a reference period (generally the years 2000, 2001 and 2002. Other calculation options are possible in specific cases or when other integrations are concerned). Each direct payment is calculated by dividing the reference amount by the number of hectares which are entitled to the support received.

Regional implementation

Member States may opt to allocate payments at regional level. In that case, regional ceilings are to be established and divided among the farmers in the region. The value of their entitlements is obtained by dividing the financial envelope by the number of hectares declared in the first year of application of the scheme.

Partial implementation

Member States have had the option of partially implementing the single payment system. In this case, Member States keep part of the coupled aid and pay it to farmers in the form of a supplementary payment and according to production. These options will disappear in 2012, except for sheep/goats and suckler cows, two productions which may prove to be crucial in order to avoid agricultural land being abandoned in certain regions.

CONTEXT

This Regulation forms part of the “health check” component of the Common Agricultural Policy after the 2003 reform. Since then the CAP has been resolutely aimed at simplification by making most payments directly to farmers under the Single Payment Scheme. Using the experience acquired since the introduction of the SPS, the Commission is extending the simplification of the CAP into the area of cross-compliance and that of existing coupled aid.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 73/2009

1.2.2009

OJ L 30, 31.1.2009

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1250/2009

22.12.2009

OJ L 338, 19.12.2009

A simplified CAP for Europe

A simplified CAP for Europe

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about A simplified CAP for Europe

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Agriculture > General framework

A simplified CAP for Europe

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 18 March 2009 – A simplified CAP for Europe – A success for all [COM(2009) 128 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Since 2005 the Commission has taken on a number of activities which have simplified the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) from a technical * and policy * perspective.

Technical simplification

The main technical simplifications concern:

  • the repeal of legal acts deemed to be obsolete;
  • the adoption of the Regulation establishing a common organisation of agricultural markets in 2007, better known as the ‘single CMO’. This new Regulation replaces 21 individual common organisations of the market and groups them together into one single regulation;
  • the modification and streamlining of the policy on State aid, including the adoption of the de minimis Regulation in the agricultural sector in 2007;
  • a study to measure administrative costs;
  • the creation of platforms for the sharing of best practices concerning CAP simplification.

Policy simplification

The policy-related actions concern:

  • the sugar CMO reform, which merged the various quota types into one single quota. This reform also included the budget for sugar-aid into the envelope of the Single Payment Scheme and replaced intervention by private storage;
  • the Single Payment Scheme, to make it more “farmer friendly” and to simplify its functioning;
  • reforms in the fruit and vegetables and wine sectors, which integrated these sectors into the Single Payment Scheme;
  • impact assessments and evaluations, which involve stakeholders at an early stage of the legislative process and render it more transparent. They also improve the quality of proposals and the quality of debates on proposals.

Processes followed for CAP simplification

  • stakeholder consultation, screening, Action Plan;
  • the conference organised in October 2006;
  • internal training on legislative drafting;
  • IT systems: the ISAMM system (Information System for Agricultural Market Management and Monitoring) to facilitate the electronic exchange of information between Commission services and Member States is in its final development phase.

CAP simplification Action Plan

Launched at the end of 2006, the Action Plan is based on suggestions from Member States, stakeholders, producers’ organisations and the Commission. The plan had evolved to around fifty technical simplification projects by January 2009, of which 43 have been implemented.

The projects taken up concern, in particular:

  • the abolition of licences for exports of beef without export refunds;
  • egg marketing standards;
  • the abolition of the requirement that farmers should have a parcel at their disposal for at least 10 months before being able to apply for direct payments;
  • the elimination of most of the obligations relating to import and export licences;
  • specific marketing standards concerning 26 types of fruit and vegetables;
  • an amendment of the rules on cross-compliance * (for example, advance notice for on-the-spot checks); etc.

Special focus

An important accomplishment within the context of legislative simplification of the CAP was the adoption of the Council Regulation establishing a common organisation of agricultural markets, commonly referred to as the “single CMO”. The new Regulation replaces all 21 individual common organisations of the market and groups them together into one single regulation, thereby reducing the number of articles from around 920 to around 230 and repealing a total of 78 Council acts. Finally, the single CMO facilitates further simplification and reduction of administrative burden at the level of Commission implementing provisions.

Within the context of the Action Programme for reducing Administrative Burdens, a study assessing the administrative burden on farms arising from CAP was published at the end of 2007. This study, carried out in Denmark, Germany, France, Ireland and Italy, provides an assessment of the administrative costs associated with the Single Payment Scheme in 2006 and presents an outlook on future developments. The results of the study indicate that administrative burden on farms will decrease substantially. One factor is the learning curve effect and the disappearance of the administrative costs associated with the start-up of the Single Payment Scheme. The changes decided in the Health Check are another important reason.

The Health Check of the CAP reform simplifies the provisions of the Single Payment Scheme and renders the 2003 CAP reform more efficient. In particular, it stresses the need for further decoupling of support and the abolition of several schemes such as payments for energy crops and durum wheat, etc. to reduce the administrative burden on farms. The Health Check has also simplified the rules on the modulation franchise * as well as the provisions concerning the functioning of the National Reserve and payment entitlements that originate from that reserve.

Outlook

The actions under consideration concern:

  • common starting dates for legal acts;
  • communication and conservation of information;
  • a training programme for officials which involves a farm stay;
  • harmonising cross-compliance rules;
  • improvements in quality policy;
  • more regular review of legislation;
  • continuation of the Action Plan with the addition of new projects;
  • training on writing skills, to make legislation easier to read;
  • continuation of sharing best practices.

Context

This Communication takes stock of the activities carried out since the 2005 Communication on CAP simplification. As a result of the progress made in simplifying the Common Agricultural Policy, the Commission expects to achieve its objective of reducing administrative burdens by 25% by 2012.

Key terms of the Act
  • Technical simplification: implies revision of the legal framework, administrative procedures and management mechanisms to achieve streamlining and greater cost-effectiveness and attain existing policy objectives more effectively, without changing the underlying policies.
  • Policy simplification: reduces complexity through improvements to the agricultural support and rural development policy instruments. It may be described as ‘policy development with simplification implications’.
  • Cross-compliance: the payment of certain European aid is subject to compliance with basic environmental and health requirements.
  • Modulation: an instrument introduced by the 2003 reform which allows resources intended for direct aid to farmers to be transferred to rural development measures during the period up to 2013.

Information measures relating to the common agricultural policy

Information measures relating to the common agricultural policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Information measures relating to the common agricultural policy

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Agriculture > General framework

Information measures relating to the common agricultural policy

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 814/2000 of 17 April 2000 on information measures relating to the common agricultural policy.

Summary

The aims of the information measures relating to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are:

  • explaining, implementing and developing the CAP;
  • promoting the European model of agriculture and helping people to understand it;
  • informing farmers and other parties active in rural areas;
  • raising public awareness of the issues and objectives of the CAP.

The information measures are as follows:

  • specific or annual nformation measures such as talks, audiovisual productions, information campaigns, information stands at agricultural fairs, mobile workshops, etc. presented by organisations (legal persons) established in a Member State for at least two years, such as agricultural NGOs, consumers’ associations, public authorities, the media or universities.
  • activities implemented at the Commission’s initiative.

Measures covered by a legal obligation and those receiving funding under another Community action may not claim aid under this Regulation.

The Community cofinancing rate, under the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF), generally amounts to 50% of the eligible costs. In special cases, it may be 75 %.

Events eligible for Community cofinancing for information measures in the field of the CAP include information measures such as televised debates, audiovisual productions, seminars, publications, participation in international events or information campaigns including several of the measures referred to above.

The Commission publishes a call for proposals in autumn each year (in 2009, publication took place on 9 September and proposals were to be submitted by 31 October).

Projects are selected on the basis of their quality and cost-effectiveness.

For measures to be cofinanced in 2010, the amount of funding is at least EUR 20 000 and at most EUR 200 000. The end of the evaluation procedure has been set at 30 April 2010 in the knowledge that the applications selected will be the subject of an agreement between the Commission and the recipients governing the rights and obligations arising from the Commission’s funding decision.

The European Commission monitors, checks on and analyses measures receiving Community funding.

The European Commission regularly issues a report on the implementation of information measures to the Parliament and to the Council.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation No 814/2000

17.4.2000

OJ L 100 of 17.4.2000.

Related Acts

Implementing procedures

Commission Regulation (EC) No 2208/2002 of 12 December 2002 laying down detailed rules for applying Council Regulation (EC) No 814/2000 on information measures relating to the common agricultural policy [Official Journal L 337 of 13.12.2002].
Amended by Regulation (EC) No 1820/2004 [Official Journal L 320 of 21.10.2004].

Mediterranean package

Mediterranean package

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Mediterranean package

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Agriculture > General framework

Mediterranean package

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 864/2004 of 29 April 2004 amending Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 establishing common rules for direct support schemes under the Common Agricultural Policy and establishing certain support schemes for farmers, and adapting it by reason of the accession of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia to the European Union.

Summary

This Regulation, known as the “Mediterranean package”, supplements the major reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of June 2003 with provisions relating to the integration of support for tobacco, hops, olive groves and cotton into the single payment scheme.

The Regulation establishes specific direct aid applicable to these sectors. This aid is granted on condition that farmers meet the cross-compliance requirements laid down by the 2003 reform.

Hops

Direct aid for hops has been decoupled from production since 1 January 2005 (except in countries which applied a transitional period until 31 December 2005). However, in order to deal with specific market situations or regional implications, Member States may retain a certain percentage of coupled aid (corresponding to a maximum of 25 % of their national ceiling *).

The reference amount for the calculation of the aid is EUR 480 per hectare for which aid was granted during the reference period 2000 to 2002.

The Regulation on the common organisation of the market in hops contains rules on marketing, producer groups and trade with third countries.

Cotton

Direct aid for cotton has been decoupled from production since 1 January 2006. However, in order to safeguard production in areas where cotton production would be liable to cease if decoupling were applied in full, Member States may retain a certain percentage of coupled aid (corresponding to a maximum of 35 % of the total amount of aid previously granted for cotton).

This aid is calculated according to the following table:

Maximum area (total)
440 000 hectares
Greece Spain Portugal
National base area

370 000 hectares

70 000 hectares

360 hectares

Aid in euros per eligible hectare

300 000 hectares at EUR 594 per hectare
70 000 hectares at EUR 342.85 per hectare

EUR 1 039 per hectare

EUR 556 per hectare

The “approved inter-branch organisations” in the cotton sector are encouraged to participate in the management of area aid for their members (fixing a scale).

Following the cancellation by the Court of Justice of the European Communities of the 2004 reform in September 2006, the current regulations governing the cotton sector will be replaced in the near future. In response to a very wide-ranging public consultation, stakeholders and the general public submitted contributions with a view to drawing up a new proposal for reform.

Olive oil

Support for the olive oil sector has been decoupled from production since 1 January 2006. However, for the upkeep of olive groves of environmental or social value, area aid (corresponding to a maximum of 40 % of the aid previously granted) is granted for olive groves recorded in the geographical information system *.

Only Spain decided to apply coupled aid for olive groves, amounting to EUR 103.14 million per annum.

Member States may assign no more than 10 % of their national envelope for olive oil to measures to improve quality.

The Regulation on the common organisation of the market in olive oil and table olives regulates the internal market and trade in these products with third countries.

Tobacco

Direct aid for tobacco will be fully decoupled from production from 2010. However, in order to protect local economies and to allow the market price to adjust to the new conditions, Member States may maintain a certain percentage of coupled aid (corresponding to a maximum of 60 % of the aid previously granted) for the four years up to 2010.

During this period, and depending on the choice made by the Member States concerned, the maximum amounts of this aid are as follows:

2006-2009
(EUR million)
Germany

21.287

Spain 70.599
France 48.217
Italy (apart from Puglia) 189.366
Portugal 8.468

A proportion of this production aid (set at 5 % in 2007) is transferred to the Community Tobacco Fund, which finances research and information programmes on the harmful effects of tobacco consumption.

From 2011, half the aid granted annually for tobacco between 2000 and 2002 (estimated at EUR 484 million) will be transferred for restructuring the tobacco-producing regions under rural development programmes financed under the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund, EAGGF.

The Regulation on the common organisation of the market in tobacco regulates production orientation and trade with third countries.

Background

The “Mediterranean products” reform is based on the Commission communication to the Council and the European Parliament entitled “Accomplishing a sustainable agricultural model for Europe through the reformed CAP – the tobacco, olive oil, cotton and sugar sectors “. For hops, the reform is based on the report from the Commission to the Council on evolution of the hop sector .

Key terms used in the act
  • National ceiling: maximum amount which each State may allocate to direct aid payments.
  • Geographical information system: a computerised tool organising geographical data and providing a realistic representation of the spatial environment.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 864/2004 1.5.2004 OJ L 161 of 30.4.2004

Resources

See Also

Specific measures in favour of the smaller Aegean islands

Specific measures in favour of the smaller Aegean islands

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Specific measures in favour of the smaller Aegean islands

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Agriculture > General framework

Specific measures in favour of the smaller Aegean islands

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 1405/2006 of 18 September 2006 laying down specific measures for agriculture in favour of the smaller Aegean islands and amending Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 [See amending acts].

Summary

The smaller Aegean islands benefit from specific supply arrangements for certain agricultural products and adapted support measures for local agricultural production. These measures, exemplified by this Regulation, aim at promoting the development of these regions which is hindered by a number of geographical and economic factors.

Specific supply arrangements

Supply of agricultural products (a list of which can be found in Annex I of the treaty) that are essential for human consumption or for the manufacture of other products is based on a specific support policy. In this respect, the authorities designated by Greece establish a forecast supplybalance which quantifies annual needs for the products concerned. This forecast is then approved by the Commission.

The products benefit from supply aid which is fixed according to the additional marketing costs. Implementing the specific supply arrangements takes into account certain factors such as the particular needs of the smaller islands, traditional trade flows, the economic aspect of the aid envisaged and the development of local production.

Products covered by this scheme may only be re-exported under the conditions established by the Committee which assists the Commission. These conditions include the reimbursement of aid received. Moreover, products which are processed in the smaller islands using materials which have benefited from the specific supply arrangements may only be exported to third countries or sent to the Community within the maximum quantities defined by the Commission.

Measures in favour of local agricultural production

Greece presents a support programme which is submitted to the Commission for approval. This programme includes measures to foster agricultural production in the smaller islands. The measures must be coherent and compatible with Community legislation and policies, in particular the Common Agricultural Policy.

The support programme may include:

  • a quantified description of the situation as regards agricultural production;
  • the proposed strategy and expected impact in economic, environmental and social terms;
  • an implementation schedule for the measures and a general summary table describing the resources to be mobilised;
  • a justification of the compatibility and coherence of the various measures in the programme and a definition of the criteria and quantitative indicators used for monitoring and assessment;
  • action taken to ensure that the programme is implemented effectively and appropriately;
  • the competent authority designated to implement the programme and associated organisations.

Support measures

The Commission may authorise additional aid in the form of operating aid in the sectors of production, processing and marketing of the said products to implement the support programme.

Financial provisions

The specific supply arrangements and the measures fostering local agricultural production amount to a maximum of EUR 23.93 million per year. With regard to the specific supply arrangements, the maximum annual amount is EUR 5.47 million.

General provisions

The Commission is assisted by the Management Committee for Direct Payments.

Greece presents to the Commission:

  • by 15 February of each year, funding for the implementation of the programme in the following year;
  • by 30 June of each year, a report on the measures laid down in this Regulation.

The Commission presents a general report on the impact of action carried out pursuant to this Regulation to the European Parliament and the Council by 31 December 2011.

Context

The first unique support framework for agriculture in the Aegean islands was presented in Regulation No 2019/93, which laid down specific supply arrangements and specific aid measures for certain sectors such as potatoes, vines and olive growing. In view of the success of this system, this Regulation aims at maintaining this aid whilst reinforcing partnerships with local authorities and giving them more freedom to manage funding.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1405/2006

3.10.2006

OJ L 265 of 26.9.2006

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 615/2008

29.6.2008

OJ L 168 of 28.6.08

Regulation (EC) No 72/2009

7.2.2009

OJ L 30 of 31.1.09

The subsequent amendments and corrections to Regulation (EEC) No 1405/2006 have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated versionis only of documentary value.

Related Acts

Application procedure

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1914/2006 of 20 December 2006 laying down detailed rules for applying Council Regulation (EC) No 1405/2006 laying down specific measures for agriculture in favour of the smaller Aegean islands [Official Journal L 365 of 21.12.2006].

This Regulation contains the application procedure for measures in favour of the smaller Aegean islands. Concerning specific supply arrangements, it describes the function of administrative components such as the aid certificate and the register of operators, gives details of export conditions and explains the procedure for inspection and exports. With regard to measures in favour of local production, the Regulation describes how the amount of aid is determined, how applications are to be submitted and how aid is paid, as well as the principles governing inspections relating to the proper use of aid and sanctions.
See consolidated version

Transmission of information

Commission Regulation (EC) No 792/2009 of 31 August 2009 laying down detailed rules for the Member States’ notification to the Commission of information and documents in implementation of the common organisation of the markets, the direct payments’ regime, the promotion of agricultural products and the regimes applicable to the outermost regions and the smaller Aegean islands [Official Journal L 228 of 1.9.2009].

Financing the common agricultural policy

Financing the common agricultural policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Financing the common agricultural policy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Agriculture > General framework

Financing the common agricultural policy

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005 of 21 June 2005 on the financing of the common agricultural policy [See amending acts].

Summary

This Regulation establishes a single legal framework for financing CAP spending, creating two new funds: the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). Although operating in a similar fashion, each has certain specific features. Since some of the measures financed by these funds are those managed jointly with Member States, the Regulation sets out conditions under which the Commission may exercise its responsibilities for implementing the general budget and clarifies the areas in which Member States are obliged to cooperate.

The Regulation lays down the conditions under which Member States can accredit and withdraw accreditation from paying agencies and coordinating bodies. The agencies are responsible for making payments, whilst the bodies monitor the accounting carried out by the paying agencies. It also provides for the creation of certification bodies, public or private legal bodies appointed by the Member States which are responsible for certifying the management, monitoring and control systems implemented by the accredited paying agencies and the agencies’ annual accounts. The Member States are asked to take all necessary steps to effectively protect the financial interests of the Community. In addition, only expenditure incurred by accredited paying agencies will be financed by the Community and payments will be made in full to the beneficiaries.

EAGF

As regards expenditure managed jointly by the Member States and the Commission, the EAGF finances:

  • refunds for exporting farm produce to non-EU countries;
  • intervention measures to regulate agricultural markets;
  • direct payments to farmers under the CAP;
  • certain informational and promotional measures for farm produce implemented by Member States both on the internal EU market and outside it;
  • expenditure on restructuring measures in the sugar industry under Council Regulation (EC) No 320/2006;
  • programmes promoting the consumption of fruit in schools.

As regards expenditure managed centrally by the Commission, EAGF financing covers:

  • the Community’s financial contribution for specific veterinary measures, veterinary inspection and inspections of foodstuffs and animal feed, animal disease eradication and control programmes and plant-health measures;
  • promotion of farm produce, either directly by the Commission or via international organisations;
  • measures required by Community legislation to conserve, characterise, collect and use genetic resources in farming;
  • setting up and running farm accounting information systems;
  • farm survey systems;
  • expenditure relating to fisheries markets.

The monies to cover expenditure financed by the EAGF are paid by the Commission to the Member States in the form of monthly reimbursements. These are made on the basis of a declaration of expenditure and other information provided by the Member States. If funds are committed without following the Community rules, the Commission may decide to reduce or suspend payments.

The Commission sets the net balance available for EAGF spending and will put in place a monthly early-warning and monitoring system for such spending. Every month, it will present the Parliament and Council with a report examining spending trends in relation to the profiles set at the beginning of the financial year and assessing how these are likely to develop in the current year.

Any amounts recovered as a result of irregularities or negligence are paid to the paying agencies, which must book them in the month they are actually received as revenue earmarked for EAGF spending only.

EAFRD

The EAFRD finances rural development programmes implemented in accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 solely where expenditure is jointly managed.

The budget commitments for this purpose will be made annually in the form of prefinancing, interim payments and payment of the final balance. Interim payments will be made for each rural development programme subject to the budget funding available within the ceiling limits established by Community legislation and the increased amounts laid down by the Commission in applying provisions laid down for direct payments to farmers and for the wine market. These payments will be made subject to certain conditions: for example, the Commission must be sent a declaration of expenditure and a payment claim certified by the accredited paying agency. If this declaration does not comply with the Community standards, the Commission may reduce or suspend payments.

In the event of any irregularities, Community financing will be totally or partially cancelled or, if the monies in question have already been paid to the beneficiary, they will be recovered by the accredited paying agency. The cancelled or recovered amounts may be used by the Member State for a different operation planned under the same rural development programme.

As regards payment of the balance, this is not made until the Commission has received the final implementing report on the implementation of a rural development programme and the corresponding clearance decision. If the necessary documents are not sent to the Commission, the balance will be automatically decommitted.

Commission controls

The Commission will ensure that the financial management of the Community Funds is sound, mainly through a two-stage clearance procedure: clearance of accounts and conformity clearance. The Member States must keep for the Commission all the information needed for the smooth running of the Funds. To supplement checks made by the Member States under national legislation, the Commission may organise on-site audits of its own. Payments made to a Member State under the EAGF and EAFRD may be reduced or suspended where certain serious and persistent deficiencies are detected.

The names of the beneficiaries of the Agricultural Funds, and the amounts they have received, must be made public after payment has been made.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005

18.8.2005

OJ L 209 of 11.8.2005
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 320/2006

3.3.2006

OJ L 58 of 28.2.2006

Regulation (EC) No 378/2007

12.4.2007

OJ L 95 of 5.4.2007

Regulation (EC) No 1437/2007

15.12.2007

OJ L 322 of 7.12.2007

Regulaton (EC) No 479/2008

13.6.2008

OJ L 148 of 6.6.2008

Regulation (EC) No 13/2009

16.1.2009

OJ L 5 of 9.1.2009

Regulation (EC) No 73/2009

1.2.2009

OJ L 30 of 31.1.2009

Regulation (EC) No 473/2009

9.6.2009

OJ L 144 of 9.6.2009

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005 have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference only.

RELATED ACTS

Available amounts and excluded expenditure

Decision 2008/321/EC [Official Journal L 109 of 19.4.2008].

This Decision contains a list of expenditure items excluded from Community financing because they do not comply with the CAP financing rules. The exclusion of such expenditure items, incurred by the paying agencies of certain Member States between 2002 and 2007, is a consequence of verifications, bilateral discussions and conciliation procedures and entails the deduction of the amounts concerned.

Decision 2009/379/EC [Official Journal L 117 of 12.5.2009].

The Decision lays down the amounts made available to the EAFRD and EAGF for the period 2007-2013.

Detailed rules for application

Regulation (EC) No 883/2006 [Official Journal L 171 of 23.6.2006].

This Regulation lays down detailed rules for the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005 as regards the keeping of accounts by the paying agencies, declarations of expenditure and revenue and the conditions for reimbursing expenditure under the EAGF and the EAFRD.
See consolidated version .

Regulation (EC) No 884/2006[Official Journal L 171 of 23.6.2006].

This Regulation lays down detailed rules for the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005 as regards the financing by the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) of intervention measures in the form of public storage operations and the accounting of public storage operations by the paying agencies of the Member States.
See consolidated version .

Regulation (EC) No 885/2006 [Official Journal L 171 of 23.6.2006].

This Regulation lays down detailed rules for the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005 as regards the accreditation of paying agencies and other bodies and the clearance of the accounts of the EAGF and of the EAFRD.
See consolidated version .

Regulation (EC) No 259/2008 [Official Journal L 76 of 19.3.2008].

This Regulation lays down detailed rules for the application of Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005 as regards the publication of information on the beneficiaries of funds deriving from the EAGF and the EAFRD. This information must be published on a single website by 30 April of each year and must include beneficiaries’ personal details and the amounts received.

Clearance of accounts

Regulation (EC) No 941/2008 [Official Journal L 258 of 9.10.2009].

This Regulation lays down the form and content of the accounting information to be submitted to the Commission for the purpose of the clearance of the accounts of the EAGF and EAFRD, as well as for monitoring and forecasting purposes.

Decision 2009/373/EC [Official Journal L 116 of 9.5.2009].

This Decision presents the clearance of the accounts of the paying agencies of Member States concerning expenditure financed by the EAFRD for the 2008 financial year.

Decision 2009/367/EC [Official Journal L111 of 5.5.2009].

This Decision presents the clearance of the accounts of the paying agencies of Member States concerning expenditure financed by the EAGF for the 2008 financial year.

Irregularities, fraud and recovery

Regulation (EC) No 1848/2006 [Official Journal L 355 of 15.12.2006].

This act sets out information and investigation measures to be taken by the Member States in cases of fraud in connection with the financing of the CAP and sets up an information system in this field.

Surveys

Regulation (EC) No 78/2008 [Official Journal L 25 of 30.1.2008].

This act relates to the measures to be undertaken by the Commission in 2008-2013 making use of the remote-sensing applications developed within the framework of the common agricultural policy.


Another Normative about Financing the common agricultural policy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic

Regional policy > Provisions and instruments of regional policy

Financing the common agricultural policy

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005 of 21 June 2005 on the financing of the common agricultural policy [See amending acts].

Summary

This Regulation establishes a single legal framework for financing CAP spending, creating two new funds: the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). Although operating in a similar fashion, each has certain specific features. Since some of the measures financed by these funds are those managed jointly with Member States, the Regulation sets out conditions under which the Commission may exercise its responsibilities for implementing the general budget and clarifies the areas in which Member States are obliged to cooperate.

The Regulation lays down the conditions under which Member States can accredit and withdraw accreditation from paying agencies and coordinating bodies. The agencies are responsible for making payments, whilst the bodies monitor the accounting carried out by the paying agencies. It also provides for the creation of certification bodies, public or private legal bodies appointed by the Member States which are responsible for certifying the management, monitoring and control systems implemented by the accredited paying agencies and the agencies’ annual accounts. The Member States are asked to take all necessary steps to effectively protect the financial interests of the Community. In addition, only expenditure incurred by accredited paying agencies will be financed by the Community and payments will be made in full to the beneficiaries.

EAGF

As regards expenditure managed jointly by the Member States and the Commission, the EAGF finances:

  • refunds for exporting farm produce to non-EU countries;
  • intervention measures to regulate agricultural markets;
  • direct payments to farmers under the CAP;
  • certain informational and promotional measures for farm produce implemented by Member States both on the internal EU market and outside it;
  • expenditure on restructuring measures in the sugar industry under Council Regulation (EC) No 320/2006;
  • programmes promoting the consumption of fruit in schools.

As regards expenditure managed centrally by the Commission, EAGF financing covers:

  • the Community’s financial contribution for specific veterinary measures, veterinary inspection and inspections of foodstuffs and animal feed, animal disease eradication and control programmes and plant-health measures;
  • promotion of farm produce, either directly by the Commission or via international organisations;
  • measures required by Community legislation to conserve, characterise, collect and use genetic resources in farming;
  • setting up and running farm accounting information systems;
  • farm survey systems;
  • expenditure relating to fisheries markets.

The monies to cover expenditure financed by the EAGF are paid by the Commission to the Member States in the form of monthly reimbursements. These are made on the basis of a declaration of expenditure and other information provided by the Member States. If funds are committed without following the Community rules, the Commission may decide to reduce or suspend payments.

The Commission sets the net balance available for EAGF spending and will put in place a monthly early-warning and monitoring system for such spending. Every month, it will present the Parliament and Council with a report examining spending trends in relation to the profiles set at the beginning of the financial year and assessing how these are likely to develop in the current year.

Any amounts recovered as a result of irregularities or negligence are paid to the paying agencies, which must book them in the month they are actually received as revenue earmarked for EAGF spending only.

EAFRD

The EAFRD finances rural development programmes implemented in accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 solely where expenditure is jointly managed.

The budget commitments for this purpose will be made annually in the form of prefinancing, interim payments and payment of the final balance. Interim payments will be made for each rural development programme subject to the budget funding available within the ceiling limits established by Community legislation and the increased amounts laid down by the Commission in applying provisions laid down for direct payments to farmers and for the wine market. These payments will be made subject to certain conditions: for example, the Commission must be sent a declaration of expenditure and a payment claim certified by the accredited paying agency. If this declaration does not comply with the Community standards, the Commission may reduce or suspend payments.

In the event of any irregularities, Community financing will be totally or partially cancelled or, if the monies in question have already been paid to the beneficiary, they will be recovered by the accredited paying agency. The cancelled or recovered amounts may be used by the Member State for a different operation planned under the same rural development programme.

As regards payment of the balance, this is not made until the Commission has received the final implementing report on the implementation of a rural development programme and the corresponding clearance decision. If the necessary documents are not sent to the Commission, the balance will be automatically decommitted.

Commission controls

The Commission will ensure that the financial management of the Community Funds is sound, mainly through a two-stage clearance procedure: clearance of accounts and conformity clearance. The Member States must keep for the Commission all the information needed for the smooth running of the Funds. To supplement checks made by the Member States under national legislation, the Commission may organise on-site audits of its own. Payments made to a Member State under the EAGF and EAFRD may be reduced or suspended where certain serious and persistent deficiencies are detected.

The names of the beneficiaries of the Agricultural Funds, and the amounts they have received, must be made public after payment has been made.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005

18.8.2005

OJ L 209 of 11.8.2005

Amending act(s)
Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 320/2006

3.3.2006

OJ L 58 of 28.2.2006

Regulation (EC) No 378/2007

12.4.2007

OJ L 95 of 5.4.2007

Regulation (EC) No 1437/2007

15.12.2007

OJ L 322 of 7.12.2007

Regulaton (EC) No 479/2008

13.6.2008

OJ L 148 of 6.6.2008

Regulation (EC) No 13/2009

16.1.2009

OJ L 5 of 9.1.2009

Regulation (EC) No 73/2009

1.2.2009

OJ L 30 of 31.1.2009

Regulation (EC) No 473/2009

9.6.2009

OJ L 144 of 9.6.2009

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005 have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference only.

RELATED ACTS

Available amounts and excluded expenditure

Decision 2008/321/EC [Official Journal L 109 of 19.4.2008].

This Decision contains a list of expenditure items excluded from Community financing because they do not comply with the CAP financing rules. The exclusion of such expenditure items, incurred by the paying agencies of certain Member States between 2002 and 2007, is a consequence of verifications, bilateral discussions and conciliation procedures and entails the deduction of the amounts concerned.

Decision 2009/379/EC [Official Journal L 117 of 12.5.2009].

The Decision lays down the amounts made available to the EAFRD and EAGF for the period 2007-2013.

Detailed rules for application

Regulation (EC) No 883/2006 [Official Journal L 171 of 23.6.2006].

This Regulation lays down detailed rules for the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005 as regards the keeping of accounts by the paying agencies, declarations of expenditure and revenue and the conditions for reimbursing expenditure under the EAGF and the EAFRD.
See consolidated version .

Regulation (EC) No 884/2006[Official Journal L 171 of 23.6.2006].

This Regulation lays down detailed rules for the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005 as regards the financing by the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) of intervention measures in the form of public storage operations and the accounting of public storage operations by the paying agencies of the Member States.
See consolidated version .

Regulation (EC) No 885/2006 [Official Journal L 171 of 23.6.2006].

This Regulation lays down detailed rules for the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005 as regards the accreditation of paying agencies and other bodies and the clearance of the accounts of the EAGF and of the EAFRD.
See consolidated version .

Regulation (EC) No 259/2008 [Official Journal L 76 of 19.3.2008].

This Regulation lays down detailed rules for the application of Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005 as regards the publication of information on the beneficiaries of funds deriving from the EAGF and the EAFRD. This information must be published on a single website by 30 April of each year and must include beneficiaries’ personal details and the amounts received.

Clearance of accounts

Regulation (EC) No 941/2008 [Official Journal L 258 of 9.10.2009].

This Regulation lays down the form and content of the accounting information to be submitted to the Commission for the purpose of the clearance of the accounts of the EAGF and EAFRD, as well as for monitoring and forecasting purposes.

Decision 2009/373/EC [Official Journal L 116 of 9.5.2009].

This Decision presents the clearance of the accounts of the paying agencies of Member States concerning expenditure financed by the EAFRD for the 2008 financial year.

Decision 2009/367/EC [Official Journal L111 of 5.5.2009].

This Decision presents the clearance of the accounts of the paying agencies of Member States concerning expenditure financed by the EAGF for the 2008 financial year.

Irregularities, fraud and recovery

Regulation (EC) No 1848/2006 [Official Journal L 355 of 15.12.2006].

This act sets out information and investigation measures to be taken by the Member States in cases of fraud in connection with the financing of the CAP and sets up an information system in this field.

Surveys

Regulation (EC) No 78/2008 [Official Journal L 25 of 30.1.2008].

This act relates to the measures to be undertaken by the Commission in 2008-2013 making use of the remote-sensing applications developed within the framework of the common agricultural policy.

Recovery and information system for money wrongly paid in connection with the financing of the common agricultural policy

Recovery and information system for money wrongly paid in connection with the financing of the common agricultural policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Recovery and information system for money wrongly paid in connection with the financing of the common agricultural policy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Agriculture > General framework

Recovery and information system for money wrongly paid in connection with the financing of the common agricultural policy

Document or Iniciative

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1848/2006 of 14 December 2006 concerning irregularities and the recovery of sums wrongly paid in connection with the financing of the common agricultural policy and the organisation of an information system in this field and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 595/91.

Summary

This Regulation aims to improve the Community’s response to irregular practices. It requires Member States to submit a quarterly report to the Commission listing all irregularities they have detected (and with an impact of more than EUR 10 000). Member States are required to inform the Commission of national procedures to impose administrative or criminal sanctions and – if the Commission requests them to do so – to provide details of any progress made in recovering money from beneficiaries who have committed irregularities with a detrimental effect on EAGF and EAFRD Community funding.

Quarterly report to the Commission

Within two months following the end of each quarter, Member States must report to the Commission any irregularities which have been the subject of a primary administrative or judicial finding. This report should be accompanied by information concerning the type and the amount of expenditure, the practices used to commit the irregularity, the identity of those implicated and the progress of administrative and legal proceedings. If some of this information is not available when the initial report is submitted, Member States must communicate it in subsequent quarterly reports.

Reporting to other Member States

Each Member State has to report to the Commission and the other Member States concerned any irregularities which it is feared may very quickly have repercussions outside its territory or which show that a new malpractice has been employed.

The Cocolaf

Once a year, the Commission provides the Advisory Committee for the Coordination of Fraud Prevention (Cocolaf) with a summary report of its work under this Regulation.

Key terms in the Act
  • Irregularity: defined in Article 1(2) of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 as any infringement of a provision of Community law resulting from an act or omission by an economic operator which has, or would have, the effect of prejudicing the general budget of the Communities either by reducing or losing revenue accruing from own resources collected directly on behalf of the Communities, or by an unjustified item of expenditure.
  • Primary administrative or judiciary finding: defined in Article 35 of Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005 as the first written assessment of a competent authority, either administrative or judicial, concluding on the basis of actual facts that an irregularity has been committed, without prejudice to the possibility that this conclusion may subsequently have to be adjusted or withdrawn as a result of developments in the course of the administrative or judicial procedure.
  • Suspected fraud: defined in Article 1a point (4) of Regulation (EC) No 1681/94 as an irregularity which has been subject of a primary administrative or judicial finding giving rise to the initiation of proceedings at national level in order to establish the presence of intentional behaviour, in particular fraud as is referred to in Article 1(1) point (a) of the Convention of 26 July 1995 on the protection of the European Communities’ financial interests drawn up on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union.
  • Economic operator: defined in Article 1a point (2) of Commission Regulation No 1681/94 as any natural or legal person or other entity benefiting from a financing from the EAGF or the EAFRD, with the exception of Member States exercising their prerogatives as a public authority, or receiving such assistance, or having to pay an assigned revenue within the meaning of Article 34(1) points (b) and (c) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1848/2006

18.12.2006

OJ L 355, 15.12.2006

Facility for rapid response to soaring food prices

Facility for rapid response to soaring food prices

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Facility for rapid response to soaring food prices

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Development > Sectoral development policies

Facility for rapid response to soaring food prices

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 1337/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 establishing a facility for rapid response to soaring food prices in developing countries.

Summary

This Regulation establishes a financial facility for rapid response to variations in food prices in developing countries. It is an emergency measure, which accompanies medium and long-term cooperation actions.
The assistance and cooperation should:

  • improve availability and access to food products for vulnerable persons in the partner countries and regions;
  • support food price stability, in compliance with the world-wide objectives for food security (in particular the United Nations’ standards);
  • strengthen production capacity and good agricultural governance in the partner countries.

A differentiated approach depending on development contexts and the impact of volatile food prices shall be pursued so that target countries or regions and their populations are provided with targeted, tailor-made and well adapted support, based on their own needs.

Implementation

Taking into account the specific situation of each country, supporting measures that shall be eligible for implementation are:

  • access to the products and services required for agricultural production, including the availability of fertilisers and seeds;
  • production capacity and satisfying food needs, through a “safety net” prioritising vulnerable people such as children;
  • the use of small-scale measures aimed at increasing production, such as vocational training, microcredit, investment, equipment and infrastructure.

These measures form part of an overall plan for the use of this facility.

Eligibility

The facility resources are targeted towards a list of specific countries. In addition, the Regulation specifies the entities which can benefit from finance, where their programmes contribute to achieving the objectives of this Regulation. They are:

  • partner countries or regions of the European Union (EU);
  • local authorities in the partner countries;
  • joint bodies comprising European members and third country partners;
  • international organisations, including regional organisations, the United Nations, financial institutions and development banks;
  • EU institutions, bodies and agencies, for administering the facility;
  • EU Member States;
  • all entities, bodies, countries or regions complying with the rules on access to the EU’s external assistance.

Financing
The facility has a budget of EUR 1 billion for the period 2008-2010. Financing may take the form of:

  • projects and programmes;
  • budget support, where the partners’ good management of public spending enables it and the relevant geographical financing instruments allow it;
  • contributions to international or regional organisations and the international funds they manage;
  • contributions to national funds set up by partners and those established by donors;
  • co-financing to benefit eligible entities;
  • holdings in loans, risk capital, enterprise capital, contributions to guarantee funds through financing granted by the European Investment Bank (EIB) or other financial intermediaries.

The Commission shall evaluate the implementation of the cooperation actions in consultation with all the stakeholders involved and will submit a final report to the European Parliament and the Council by 31 December 2012. It will take into account the requirements of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action on trade and development.

The Commission shall be assisted by a Committee set up under Regulation (EC) No 1905/2006 on the financing instrument for development cooperation.

Context

The large increases in food prices in 2007 and 2008 have hit people in the majority of developing countries hard, and led to worsening poverty, unrest and instability. This crisis has a direct consequence on achieving the Millennium Development Goals, particularly on the first objective of food security.
The facility for rapid response to soaring food prices is coordinated with the other instruments for development cooperation and with the Cotonou Agreement. It complements the Instrument for Humanitarian Aid and the Instrument for Stability formulated to respond to crisis situations.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1337/2008

1.1.2009

OJ L 354 of 31.12.2008