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Study to assess the administrative burden on farms arising from the CAP

Final report
October 2007

This study, financed by the European Commission, was undertaken by Ramboll Management. The conclusions and opinions presented in this report are those of the Consultants and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Commission.

Judgement on the quality of the report [pdf]

Full text [pdf, 1 MB]

Executive summary [pdf also available in bgcsdadeelesetfritltlvhumtnlplptroskslfisv]


The study which measures the administrative burden for farmers arising from the 2003 Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) reform was carried out for the European Commission (Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development) in 2007.

It provides an assessment of the existing administrative costs for the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) in five selected Member States (Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland and Italy) in 2006. The study explains the differences between the Member States and presents an outlook on further expected developments and the administrative costs for the near future.

Cost drivers

The analysis shows that a number of other factors than the selection and implementation of the model affect the administrative costs. The main cost drivers are:

  • Approach and timing of transposition of the CAP regulations
  • Public administration
  • Business culture
  • National, structural differences

It is therefore not possible to quantify or assess the precise importance of each of the cost drivers, but a qualitative assessment is given based on information gathered under the study.

2006 - Administrative costs from the CAP

The CAP related administrative costs for farmers across the five countries vary substantially. The variation is partly explained by the different size of the agricultural sectors of the five countries. The costs are therefore estimated per farmer, per ha and as the percentage of total CAP payments in each of the countries.


The development of the administrative costs over the coming years will vary among countries.

The key expected changes are related to four groups of cost drivers, namely: the transposition of the CAP regulations, public administration, business culture, and national, structural differences.


Agriculture and Rural Development I Economic analysis and evaluation I External studies I Top of page

Publication date: 15-11-2007