The greening payment concept introduced in the 2013 reform of the Common Agricultural Policy is working but can be improved to deliver more.
That is the view of EU agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan, who was responding to a commission review of how the measures have been implemented in their first year.
The analysis shows that greening has the potential to deliver environmental and climate benefits on a large share of EU farmland, including areas not covered by rural development measures.
However, it says the true impact of greening, in terms of effectiveness and efficiency in achieving environmental and climate outputs, is difficult to assess after only one year.
Mr Hogan said the report confirmed his expectation that there is a need for simplification of the rules.
“In this respect, I have asked my services to come forward with a range of simplification proposals for steps that can be taken quickly and potentially be in place for payment claims next year.
“This will not pre-empt a broader evaluation of the environmental impact of the scheme scheduled for the end of 2017.”
Mr Hogan, speaking later at Kent County Show in England, said he believed there were a number of areas where progress could be made in the short-term to make the lives of farmers easier, without compromising the environmental performance of greening.
He said he expected to be in a position very shortly to propose several concrete simplification proposals.
Mr Hogan has also said the European Commission will hold a conference on rural development in Cork on September 5 and 6. It will bring together 250 interested parties to discuss current and future challenges of farming and rural areas, as well as policy responses.
Exactly 20 years ago, a groundbreaking European conference on rural development in the city concluded with the landmark signing of the Cork Declaration on Rural Development.
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