At least 10% of spending in every operational programme must be on environmental actions that go beyond mandatory environmental standards; alternatively, each programme must include at least 2 such actions.
Environmental actions must meet the requirements for agri-environment payments, i.e. they must entail commitments going beyond:
- the relevant cross-compliance requirements and standards
- the minimum national legal requirements for fertiliser and plant protection product use
- other relevant national legal requirements.
EU funding for environmental actions is intended to cover their financial impact on producers (additional costs and income foregone resulting from the action).
National frameworks for environmental actions (NEFs)
Countries with recognised producer organisations must draw up a NEF as part of their "national strategy for sustainable operational programmes".
Unlike other parts of the strategy, national authorities must submit their proposed NEF to the Commission, which may require them to amend it to meet the goals set out in Article 191 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and the 6th EU environment action programme .
The NEF must contain a non-exhaustive list of environmental actions and the conditions applicable to them in the country concerned.
For each action, it must indicate the:
- specific commitment(s) entailed
- justification – i.e. the expected environmental impact, in relation to environmental needs and priorities.
For more on NEFs, see the Country files.