Statement by Michel Cretin,Michel Cretin, Member of the European Court of Auditors, on the special report "The effectiveness of the Single Area Payment Scheme as a transitional system for supporting farmers in the New Member States"
Type: Speech - summary
End production: 27/11/2012 First transmission: 27/11/2012
On 27 November 2012, Michel Cretin, Member of the European Court of Auditors, made a statement on the reconsideration of the distribution of income aid to farmers in new Member States.
The European Court of Auditors has published its first special report (SR16/2012) on income support paid to farmers in the new Member States. It is calling for reform to ensure that income support be directed to the active farmer who conducts concrete and regular agricultural activities. In particular, public entities managing state land and not otherwise involved in farming should be excluded from EU farm support and no payments should be made in relation to unutilized land or land which is mainly devoted to non-agricultural activities.
The Single Area Payment Scheme (SAPS) was designed to enable the new Member States who joined the EU in 2004 and 2007, to support farmers’ income. It is currently applied in 10 EU Member States and the related expenditure amounted to 5 billion euro in 2011. The Court’s report focuses on the beneficiaries of the policy, on eligible land and on the contribution of the scheme to the objective of supporting farmers’ income.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Soundbite by Michel Cretin, Member of the European Court of Auditors, (in FRENCH) saying that one concrete case of their report on the countries in central and East Europe is that public entities, which have not as main purpose the agriculture, beneficiate from important aids via the Single Area Payment Scheme (SAPS). For example, they noticed that, in Hungary, the State is the first beneficiary from the SPAS.
||Soundbite by Michel Cretin (in FRENCH) saying that they made several observations. Firstly, they should set more precisely the objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in order that tax payers and farmers understand the usefulness the CAP. There is a lack of information on what the CAP is designed for. Secondly, beneficiaries of the CAP should be reserved to the active farmers. It means the famers who run farms instead of, for example, propriety owners.
||Soundbite by Michel Cretin (in FRENCH) saying that the third recommendation is to be careful to the distribution of the aid. They think that, currently, the aid benefit is too focused on a small number of big farms.