Farmers say EU red tape is a ‘bureaucratic monster’

The red tape surrounding the new Common Agricultural Policy is “a bureaucratic monster,” according to European farmers and their co-operatives.
Farmers say EU red tape is a ‘bureaucratic monster’

Copa-Cogeca, their umbrella body, called for a simplified farm policy in its first meeting with agricultural and rural development commissioner Phil Hogan.

Farm leaders from across Europe welcomed his plans to simplify the policy, and outlined areas where action is crucial.

Copa president Albert Jan Maat warned about the dangers of excessive bureaucracy, especially the complicated greening measures.

He said there is a risk of having different policies running in different member states.

Farmers are also concerned that time is running out and they don’t know yet all the rules needed to implement the new CAP, he said.

Mr Maat urged the European Commission to give farmers a certain amount of tolerance when implementing the new measures in the first year of reform.

“We also need to clarify the outstanding greening queries as soon as possible and make national administrative authorities give assistance and advice to farmers,” he said.

Cogeca president Christian Pees said that it is vital to ensure that the greening measures do not result in any land being taken out of production.

“Farmers and their co-operatives are looking for win-win solutions that safeguards natural resources, meets rising demand and ensures they have an economically viable future capable of meeting growing demand,” he said.

Copa-Cogeca welcomed Mr Hogan’s statements that simplification of farm policy will be a top priority for the new Commission.

The umbrella body said the Commissioner told them of his plans to launch a comprehensive screening exercise to identify which areas and elements can be simplified. It noted that Mr Hogan said he is committed to deliver within a year of his mandate and that he had urged Copa-Cogeca to come forward with a list of measures.

This was warmly welcomed by Presidents of the farm organisations and co-operatives from across Europe at a subsequent meeting.

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