Following the leak of draft regulations relating to the future of direct payments and rural development support, another leak has emerged from the European Commission, this time with regard to the financing and monitoring arrangements that should apply to the CAP. As with all such leaks, it comes with a large health warning (it is draft and subject to change) but it potentially provides an insight into some key issues.
The leak suggests that the intention is to keep two separate funds under the CAP: the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). It then goes on to suggest that Members States will be required to establish a Farm Advisory System to provide advice to farmers and beneficiaries especially to help them deal with food safety, public health, animal health, animal welfare, plant health, environmental legislation and climate change.
The draft then suggests that cross compliance should be maintained, but that it should be streamlined so that its consistency is ensured and made more visible. Rather than operating around Statutory Management Requirements (SMRs) and standards of Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition (GAEC), the draft suggests that the requirements and standards should be organised in a single list and grouped by areas and issues.
We had hoped that this regulation would have provided some clarification on issues such as the redistribution of support between the Member States, the fate of modulation, co-financing and penalties attached to the non-compliance with mandatory greening, but the draft, as leaked, does not provide many answers.