Negotiating mandate adopted by the Agriculture Committee on Direct Payments Regulation

Recital 28 would refer to ‘land under permanent grassland and permanent pasture is maintained as such by Member States’ (rather than by the farmers) – amendment 17.

Recital 33 – coupled support: the text would now say ‘Member States should be allowed to use part of their national ceilings for direct payments for coupled support in certain sectors in clearly defined cases. The resources that may be used for any coupled support should be limited to an appropriate level, while allowing such support to be granted in Member States or in their specific regions facing particular situations where specific types of farming or specific agricultural sectors are particularly important for economic, environmental and/or social reasons. Member States should be allowed to use up to 15 % of their national ceilings for this support. This percentage may be increased by three percentage points for those Member States which decide to use at least 3 % of their national ceiling in order to support the production of protein crops. Coupled support should only be granted to the extent necessary to create an incentive to maintain current levels of production in those regions, except where the purpose of the support is environmental.’ – amendment 19.

Recital 38 – now to be added ‘Member States should be allowed to establish a lump-sum payment or a fix annual payment per beneficiary replacing all direct payments (for) Farmers with annual payments of not more than EUR 1 500…’ – amendment 20.

Recital 43 currently states ‘With a view to strengthening their rural development policy, Member States should be given the possibility to transfer funds from their direct payments ceiling to their support assigned for rural development.” Following amendment 23, to this would be added ‘All Member States should be able to supplement the transfer by a sum proportional to the unspent monies for “greening”, so as to provide additional support for agro-environmental climate measures.’

Article 4, defining Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition, refers to “maintaining the agricultural area in a state which makes it suitable for grazing or cultivation without any particular preparatory action”. Under amendment 27, to this would be added ‘subject … to the establishment of a minimum activity by Member States’.

In Article 4, para 1 of the draft Regulation, “agricultural area’ would be redefined to include arable land, permanent grassland and permanent pasture or permanent crops – amendment 29.

The negotiations will be held between Commissioner Dacian Ciolos, President of the Farm Council Simon Coveney and Committee chair Paulo de Castro and their teams in the period April to June 2013.

For further information, and a full list of the amendments proposed and their likely impact if agreed, contact Peter Fane (

Similar amendments are proposed for the other draft Regulations.