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This consultation is closed

Review of the Less Favoured Area scheme

The Less Favoured Area (LFA) scheme is a longstanding measure of the Common Agricultural Policy. In place since 1975, it provides a broad-scale mechanism for maintaining the countryside in marginal areas.

The current Rural Development Policy (RDP) includes a significant evolution of the LFA support scheme. Previously the scheme had been a subject of concern for the European Court of Auditors. Within the new strategic approach and taking into account the Court of Auditors' concerns, the aid to farmers in areas with handicaps became part of Axis 2 of the RDP, which aims at improving the environment and the countryside by supporting sustainable land management.
However in 2005 the Council could not find an agreement on a possible Community wide system for LFA classification more in line with the new policy objectives. It was decided that the Commission would undertake a review of the LFA measures implementation and present in 2008 a report and proposals concerning the future payment system and designation of LFAs for a Council decision.

Commission departments launched the LFA review exercise in November 2006 in view of the preparation of a Commission proposal scheduled for the end of 2008.

In keeping with its commitment to better regulation, the Commission proposal will be accompanied by an analysis of the economic, social and environmental aspects of the problems linked to the LFA scheme and of the impact, the advantages and drawbacks of different options.

The impact analysis is guided by an inter-service steering group (ISSG), made up of Commission representatives from all the services concerned. The group has held a number of meetings and on this basis a number of options have been selected. These are now set out in this document:

Consultation document [pdf]

The four review options will be analysed, with the aim of getting a better understanding of the economic, social and environmental consequences and impact of the different possibilities for the future of the LFAs.

The steering group would like to include proposals by interested parties and civil society organisations in its analysis.

The consultation will remain open until 30 June 2008.

Contributions should be sent

  • or by post to:

    European Commission
    ISSG 'LFAs'
    c/o Josefine LORIZ-HOFFMANN
    130, rue de la Loi
    B 1049 Brussels

The results of the consultation will be reflected in the steering group's report, which is due to be published by the end of 2008.

The information given will remain confidential in line with Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 and will not be transferred to anybody. We guarantee that the answers will be anonymised.





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Last update: 22-05-2008