Due to limited administrative capacities and the absence of historical data, new member states (i.e. those that joined the European Union in 2004 and 2007) were granted the possibility of applying the single area payment scheme instead of applying the standard direct payment schemes. The single area payment scheme provides a flat-rate decoupled area payment paid for eligible agricultural land and replaces almost all payments granted in other than new member states.
Under Regulation (EC) No 73/2009, the single area payment scheme was foreseen to expire. However, the 2013 reform of the Common Agricultural Policy permitted member states applying the single area payment scheme in 2014 to apply it until 2020. At present, the single area payment scheme is applied by all new member states except Slovenia, Malta and Croatia.