- The EESC recognises the fact that the European Commission has made it a priority to thoroughly simplify common agricultural policy (CAP) implementation and that it has already proposed, and will continue to propose, the simplification of certain Commission acts, making EU legislation easier to understand and to implement on the ground.
- The EESC believes that increased transparency and legal certainty, and the reduction of unnecessary administration and associated costs for farmers, other beneficiaries, producer organisations and national administrations, is a necessary part of the simplification process.
- Inspections and possible fines must be proportionate to the amount of money received by the beneficiary, the reasons for the non-compliance and the willingness to take corrective actions. Clear instances of deliberate fraud must be dealt with via normal procedures. The EESC recommends reducing disproportionality between large reductions of support even for minor infringements.
- Application of greening measures must take into account unexpected factors such as weather conditions, drought or other such events that make the measures impossible to implement.
- Where matters such as permanent grassland have been the subject of decisions in the European Court of Justice, it is important that rules established to respect the judgement are designed in a manner that minimises regulations rather than increases them.
- Temporary grassland should retain the status of arable land, regardless of how long it is used as grassland.
- The current definition of an "active farmer" must not disadvantage farmers and should be based on the fact that land eligible for aid is being used by the farmer for agricultural purposes.
- Measures to ease the access by young farmers into the Young Farmers Scheme need to be explored and introduced immediately. Access of young people to agriculture should be supported.
- The EESC recommends that a rule on limiting increased bureaucracy be established. For example, the adoption of a rule to allow for the elimination of an existing regulation when a new one is proposed.
Relevant EESC opinions:
- NAT/664 CAP reform implementing arrangements (rapp. Campli)
- NAT/661 Rural Development Programmes (rapp. Jones, co-rapp. Agudo i Bataller)
- NAT/647 Organic production and labelling of organic products (rapp. Krauze)
- NAT/520 CAP towards 2020 (rapp. Slavova, co-rapp. Chiriaco)
Relevant CoR opinions:
- NAT-VI/006 The simplification of the Common Agricultural Policy (rapp. Buchanan)
- "Reform of the CAP: simplification and use of Financial Instruments" - Speech by Commissioner Phil Hogan at the Plenary Session of the EESC on 1 July 2015
- CAP simplification (presentation by Mr Plewa, Director-General of DG AGRI, at EESC's NAT Section meeting on 2 September 2015)
- The CAP towards 2020 – Implementation of the new system of direct payments – MS notifications (DG AGRI)
- The CAP towards 2020 – Implementation of Rural Development Policy – State of play of RDPs (Mr Dumitru, Deputy Director General of DG AGRI)
- CAP – state of play - meeting of the NAT/672 study group on 23 October 2015 (presentation by Ms Kremmyda, DG AGRI)
- European Council - Simplification of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
- European Commission - Simplification of the CAP
- Presidency Summary – List of priority issues identified by the Presidency on the basis of Member States' contributions
- EC press release on 11 May 2015 - CAP simplification: Commissioner Hogan announces first actions and further steps
- Overview of greening proposals
- EP Report on simplification of the CAP