Which schemes fell under direct payments until 2014?
With a yearly budget of around € 40 billion, direct payments form a significant part of the EU budget. The direct support schemes are listed in Annex 1 of Council Regulation (EC) No 73/2009, such as SPS, SAPS, coupled schemes and specific support.
In order to face new and demanding challenges such as climate change, bio-energy, better water management etc. in the framework of the rural development policy, it was decided during the 'Health Check' of the CAP to transfer money (from 2010 onwards) from the first pillar to the rural development envelope, the so-called 'progressive modulation'.
Implementation of direct payments
The CAP reform agreed in 2003 has been gradually implemented since 2005. In just three years, 85% of the support has been decoupled, marking a major shift of EU agricultural policy. In 2013, with the full implementation of the 'Health Check', agreed in 2008, that share has increased to 92%.