Designating new Areas with Natural Constraints

One of the longer-running sagas in EU agricultural policy-making is now entering the end game. I refer to the redesignation of certain less favoured areas (now called Areas with Natural Constraints) for the purpose of determining eligibility for ANC payments under the CAP. After much foot-dragging, it was agreed in the 2013 CAP reform that updated designation criteria would be used for ANC schemes in the 2014-2020 Rural Development Programmes, but Member States were given leeway to delay their introduction until 2018.

Presentations by DG AGRI officials at two recent workshops on the new ANC criteria, one organised by the European Network for Rural Development in October last year, and the other organised by COPA-COGECA in November last year, provide an overview of the state of play.… Read the rest