Farm Progress

The European Commission aims to amend a number of rules under the Common Agriculture Policy to reduce burdens for farmers.

Bloomberg, Content provider

February 24, 2024

1 Min Read
Tractors blocking highway during European farmer protests

By Lyubov Pronina

Europe will simplify rules for farmers seeking to cut red tape for subsidies to address a key grievance at the center of the ongoing agriculture protests.

The European Commission aims to amend a number of rules under the Common Agriculture Policy, according to a plan unveiled Thursday, as some of its basic requirements have “proven challenging to implement.”

Under the proposals, farmers will not have to reconvert arable areas to pasture if they have reduced livestock and will also have flexibility during sensitive periods to cover soil. The number of farm visits will be cut by as much as 50%, and farmers are also invited to take part in an online survey next month to share their concerns over the administrative burden and complexity of the CAP rules.

The proposal comes as European governments scramble to placate angry farmers taking to the streets to protest growing pressures from new environmental laws, cheap food imports outside the bloc and subsidy cuts. To address the revolt at the EU level, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen last month launched a strategic dialog with the agriculture community to allow for their concerns to be heard and accounted for in future policies.

“With this range of actions, we are delivering on the pledge we made to our farmers to accelerate this discussion,’ von der Leyen said in the statement. “The Commission remains fully committed to delivering solutions to ease the pressure currently felt by our hard-working farming women and men.”

The plan was announced before a meeting of EU agriculture ministers in Brussels on Monday where they plan to discuss ways to respond to the current crisis in the agriculture sector.

© 2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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