In order to receive direct payments and some other forms of support, farmers are required to respect certain rules. This requirement is known as cross-compliance. These rules concern food safety, animal health, plant health, the climate, the environment, the protection of water resources, animal welfare and the condition in which farmland is maintained.
There are two components of these rules: statutory management requirements and good agricultural and environmental conditions. If a farmer is found not to respect these rules, his or her direct payments may be reduced.