“Transitional CAP measures welcome” Martina Anderson MEP
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has given a guarded welcome to proposals contained in a leaked Draft of the transitional CAP Measures.
Martina Anderson said:
“A leaked Draft of proposed transitional CAP measures if confirmed is to be welcomed as it will relieve any uncertainty that farmers may have concerning the levels of payment for 2014/15.
“According to the leaked document most key elements of the direct support system look set to be rolled over and paid on the current basis for the 2014 claim year.
“This would permit the Department to continue paying at the 2007-2013 rural development budget rates in 2014/15. The 20-page draft text, drawn up to avoid a potential legal vacuum on Jan 1, 2014 will allow a smooth transition for paying agencies to finalise their internal procedures in preparation for the new farm policy rules.
“The leaked proposals are due to be tabled by the Commission tomorrow (April 18). If as expected, the new direct payment scheme is postponed by one year, the transitional arrangements will apply to the main elements of the existing rules for the 2014 claim year for Single Payment Scheme (SPS), Single Area, Payment Scheme (SAPS), coupled payments and specific support granted under Article 68.
“I believe that this will be welcomed by most in the farming community as offering some degree of stability.
“Since the new basic payment scheme will replace the SPS from Jan 1, 2015, an extension of the SAPS for 2014 would also be necessary in order to prevent new Member States from having to apply the SPS for only 1 year, the draft adds. This would have the effect of postponing the mandatory greening requirements for one year also - until financial year 2016.
“Commentators suggest that the final agreement on the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) agreed by EU Leaders on February 8th, may not now come into effect until the autumn - after the German elections (Sept 22).
“Existing rural development programmes would be extended until 2015, in line with rules already defined in the regulation.
“Until the adoption of the respective Rural Development programmes for the 2014-2020 period and to ensure the continuity of a number of measures involving multi-annual commitments, the Department could continue paying for existing Rural Development programmes from the 2007-2013 budget in 2014 & 2015. New projects could only be envisaged once the new CAP rules are finalised.”