The umbrella body for European farmers and co-ops has sent detailed proposals to Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan on how to simplify the CAP and cut red tape for producers.
Copa Cogeca’s move comes after the European Commission launched a screening exercise to simplify the entire agriculture legislation. Secretary-general Pekka Pesonen said the most urgent problems that farmers are facing when implementing the new CAP are the gaps in the rules and the lack of clarity, especially vis-a-vis the greening rules.
“The risk of unintentional errors during the first years of implementing the CAP will therefore be high, which would automatically cause payments to be cut.
“Since it is already too late to provide greater clarity about the rules, there must consequently be a certain amount of tolerance in the first years vis-a-vis cuts in greening payments.
“The whole sanctioning system also needs to be revised since even minor errors result in huge cuts in farmers’ payments,” he said.
Mr Pesonen said Copa Cogeca is also very worried that the number of controls will increase as a result of the numerous direct aid schemes under the new CAP.
“We will need to ensure that all eligibility conditions for the greening measures are controlled at the right moment with the higher control rate until all potential Ecological Focus Areas have been mapped.
“In addition, the increasing amount of information requested will make the aid application more complex for farmers, in particular in 2015 due to the extremely short period of time available to them. One way to alleviate the burden would be to ensure that farmers are given the possibility to correct errors as part of the application process,” he said.
Meanwhile, a series of 14 Information meetings on CAP reform implementation are to be held nationwide this month by the Department of Agriculture.
Minister Simon Coveney said this is an important opportunity for farmers to inform themselves on how the key elements of the new CAP reform arrangements will operate.
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