Farmers may have to pay for Russian crisis aid

One of the successes of outgoing Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos in the 2013 CAP reform was to maintain the size of the CAP budget in the 2014-2020 multi-annual financial framework (MFF), at least in nominal terms (and even in real terms in the Commission’s original proposal). This was no mean achievement given the extent of the financial crisis in Europe, the pressures on public spending and the competing demands for spending at EU level.
His success was due to persuading his fellow Commissioners that a larger share of the CAP budget would be devoted to paying for public goods, particularly environment and climate actions.

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The draft 2015 CAP budget

The annual budget is an important statement of any organisation’s strategic priorities. The EU budget is no exception, but its sheer size and complexity makes it difficult for the interested lay person to interpret and to understand.
The Commission proposed a draft budget (DB) for 2015 in June, and the figures are now under negotiation between the two legislative institutions. Since the Lisbon Treaty, the annual budget is agreed by co-decision between the Council and the Parliament, although the outcome must observe the ceilings agreed in the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework (MFF).
Once the draft budget is proposed, the Council first adopts its position and forwards it to the European Parliament (EP).

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Budget impasse creates uncertainty over December farm payments

All eyes have been focused on the US government shutdown from October 1 through 17 after Congress failed to enact appropriations for the fiscal year 2014, and the simultaneous threat of a US default due to the inability to get a political majority to raise the debt ceiling until Congress finally agreed at the last moment yesterday. Less attention has been paid to the warning given by Financial Programming and Budget Commissioner Lewandowski some weeks ago, and repeated by the Director-General of that Directorate at the European Parliament Budget Committee yesterday, that the EU Commission will find itself unable to pay its bills by the middle of November unless additional appropriations are made available to fund the 2013 budget.

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EU budget negotiations and farmers’ 2013 single farm payment

The value of SFP payment entitlements (and the SAPS payment in the new member states) that farmers will receive later this year will be based on current eligibility rules (as set out in Council Regulation (EC) 73/2009 agreed following the CAP Health Check) but on the budgetary amounts set aside for 2014 under the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) regulation for the coming period 2014-2020. This is because the 2013 direct payments are paid out of the 2014 EU budget which runs from 1 October this year.
This means that, even without the new CAP regulations agreed in June 2013 coming into force (which are now delayed to 1 January 2015), what farmers will receive in direct payments in 2013 will differ from what they were paid in 2012 for two main reasons:
• The overall budget for direct payments agreed for 2014, taking into account the additional demands on this budget arising from the phasing in direct payments in the new member states plus the provision for the new crisis reserve, is lower than before.

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