Further cuts in direct payments?
CAP direct payments look set to be cut back even further than the recent level agreed by EU governments, it emerged this week, as the budget needs exceed the available funds. Agra Europe reports that the spending gap is due to the 2014-2020 funding cuts agreed by EU leaders in February, along with the need to fund a new 'Crisis Reserve' for emergency market measures under Pillar One and also the final stage of subsidy phasing-in for 'new' member states.
This is likely to lead to the first instance of the ‘financial discipline’ mechanism kicking in since its inception in 2003, as the European Parliament is treaty-bound not to accept a budget deficit. What happens next is somewhat uncharted territory. However, hard pressed farmers are likely to react angrily.