Provisional EU deal could be big news for young farmers post 2018
Rules to simplify the EU farming policy were tentatively agreed by Agriculture MEPs and Council negotiators this week.
The provisionally agreed update of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) rules will be part of the final wording of the so-called Omnibus regulation, i.e. new law on EU spending.
Active and young farmers: More flexibility introduced
The deal gives Member States more flexibility to define an active farmer, i.e. a person eligible for EU farm subsidies.
EU funding would continue to be reserved for those who carry out the minimum farming activities.
But, as of 2018, national governments could relax existing requirements to make blacklisted entities, i.e. businesses by default not recognised as active farmers, eligible for EU subsidies, or even do away with the blacklist completely.
MEPs ensured that Member States would be allowed to increase young farmers’ top-ups from 25pc to 50pc of the basic payment entitlement, but within the same range of first hectares (25-90).
Young farmers could now benefit from the top-up for full five years regardless of when, during this period, they apply for it.