CAP complaints from farmers could be heard by EU
- EU Regulation
- December 30, 2022
- No Comment
New regulations which will come into effect on January 1, 2023 could open the door for farmers to “submit complaints” to the European Commission on Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) issues, according to Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski.
The European Union (EU) Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development has indicated that the regulations are part of the new CAP Strategic Plan which will be in place in Ireland from Sunday, January 1.
The commissioner said on social media that the new regulations could give farmers the opportunity to make a complaint to the European Commission about “incorrect applications” and funding decisions.
According to Commissioner Wojciechowski the regulations are set out in Article 59 of the EU Regulation 2021/2116 which relates to the “financing, management and monitoring” of CAP.
These specifically outline out that “no penalties” should be enforced on farmers in certain circumstances in relation to CAP applications or payment issues specifically where:
- Non-compliance is due to force majeure or exceptional circumstances;
- Non-compliance is due to an error of the competent authority or another authority;
- The person concerned can demonstrate he or she is not at fault for the non-compliance.
On social media, Commissioner Wojciechowski said that the new regulations could give farmers the opportunity to correct applications without the risk of losing funding and that there would be no penalties for minor errors.
He believes that this could be an important development for farmers.
It is understood that the European Commission will shortly issue a letter to each member state providing further details on these CAP regulations.
CAP Strategic Plan 2023–2027
Ireland’s €9.8 billion CAP will come into effect on Sunday and will be in operation until 2027.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, has warned that “this CAP is very different from previous plans”.
“It contains a host of measures that I know will deliver for farmers, their families, and their incomes, while also protecting our soil, water, habitats and climate.”
The new plan will combine previous Pillar I direct payments and Pillar II rural development elements of the 2015-2022 CAP into one umbrella plan which aims to support “the economic, social and environmental sustainability of rural areas”.
Commissioner Wojciechowski has repeatedly stressed that European farmers need to have a “clear legal and financial framework” for the future.
He believes the new CAP will help the EU “to support stable farming livelihoods and long-term food security by fostering a smart, competitive, resilient and diversified agricultural sector”.
But farming organisations in Ireland believe that some farm families could lose out under the new CAP.
The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has said that the impact of new eco-schemes such as the Agri Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES), further convergence and greater conditionality “will hit a cohort” of productive farmers the hardest in Ireland.
Meanwhile the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) also warned that the new plan “will put a further focus on our farm inputs and outputs and will reduce the incomes of a substantial number of farm families”.