Farm Ireland

Sunday 24 March 2019

'There will be opportunities for real simplification for farmers'- 7 ways the new CAP will be the most simple to date

EU Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan
EU Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan
Claire Fox

Claire Fox

EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan gave a presentation to the EU Council of Ministers in Brussels yesterday outlining how CAP post-2020 will be the most simple to date.

According to the Commissioner the new proposals will mean "opportunities for real simplification for farmers"

"I want to stress that this this is not a transfer of burden from the Commission to you, the Member States. 

"There will be opportunities for real simplification for farmers provided that you maximise the use of the flexibility provided to you, i.e. by targeting your intervention to the situation on the ground and we will assist you in accomplishing this task," he said.

Here's an outline of how Commissioner Hogan explains that the new CAP will be more simple:


Under the new proposals existing EU-level rules will in future be classified into three categories.

These categories include: rules which will be maintained at the EU level, those which will be determined at the Member State level and those which will simply no longer be required.

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More flexibility

CAP post-2020 will ensure that overlaps between pillars are avoided.

It will consist of an EU framework with fewer rules set by the Commission and allow for real flexibility for Member States to design their own plan appropriate to their own needs.


With Greening generally viewed as the most complex part of the current CAP, Commissioner Hogan outlined how CAP post 2020 plans to move away from this.

This included how the current two sets of rules will be replaced by one and will be determined by the Member States.

Young farmer definition

While the current CAP contains two different definitions of young farmer, CAP post 2020 will allow Member States to adopt one single definition based on the demographic situation of their local areas and the specific needs to the young farmers who live there.

EU eligibility criteria for both direct payments (complementary income support for young farmers) and rural development (installation of young farmers) have been reduced.

Only four requirements out of 10 are kept on the complementary income support for young farmers and 5 out of 15 on the installation of young farmers. 

Member States will have to decide which, if any, of the other existing requirements are appropriate in the future.

Reduced eligibility criteria support under RD

In the new proposal, the EU eligibility criteria support under rural development on support for investments has been reduced from 13 to 7 requirements.

Member states will have the opportunity to define rules where they are needed.

The possibility to end payments entitlements

When assessing the pros and cons of stopping using entitlements, Member States should have in mind this potential source of simplification for the administration of direct payments and ease the paperwork of farmers.

Penalties and controls

Member States will be required to operate a geo-spatial application but no legally binding rules on the final dates for submission of applications, modifications of claims, penalties for late submission etc. will be given (more subsidiarity given).

As a further and real example of greater subsidiarity, MS will have greater discretion with regard to tolerances in the area of controls and penalties. 

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