EU - A new suite of measures to simplify the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) were welcomed this week by farming organisation Copa-Cogeca.
The latest tranche of simplification measures unveiled by EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan will include a raft of measures designed to end the "climate of fear" for farmers when applying for aid under the Common Agricultural Policy.
In line with the ongoing efforts to simplify the implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Commissioner Phil Hogan presented his latest proposals to the members of the Agriculture and Rural Development committee of the European Parliament.
The focus of the newly announced simplification package is on the penalty system for most direct payment schemes, to take into account reasonable concerns by farmers in case of unintentional mistakes while also reducing the frequency of errors and therefore protecting public funds.
The simplification measures will allow more corrections to be made to aid applications, and reduce administration penalties.
Commenting on the proposed changes, Commissioner Hogan said: "These simplification measures should have a direct effect on farmers, sending a clear message that our interest is not to catch farmers out as it were, but ensure that public money is well spent. Farmers, I know, fully support that goal.
"These proposed changes should end the climate of fear for farmers, and are a fair and proportionate response to the concerns of smaller farmers in particular," he concluded.
Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen stressed: "This is welcome news. Excessive red tape and bureaucracy stifles innovation and efficiency. A top priority for us is to deliver a real simplification of the CAP to make life easier for farmers, especially the complicated greening measures.
"These measures, which we have been calling for, are a step forward and will cut down on excessive and costly bureaucracy facing farmers.
“We urge Commissioner Hogan to carry on with the simplification process so that farmers can get on with their jobs and produce quality food to feed a growing population,” he concluded.
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