The European Commission has today published a regulation to reimburse € 410 million to European farmers.
This amount was deducted from farmers' CAP Direct Payments for the 2015 budget year in order to create this year's so-called agricultural crisis reserve.
In spite of a number of critical situations in the agricultural sector in the past year, it was not necessary to touch the crisis reserve in 2015. The additional support measures taken during 2015 were financed from existing budgetary availabilities in 2015, while the € 500 million support package announced in the autumn, primarily for the milk sector, will only lead to EU expenditure from the 2016 budget.
This decision means that these amounts must be reimbursed by 15 October 2016.
The concept of the agricultural crisis reserve and this reimbursement mechanism was agreed in the 2013 CAP reform and applied for the first time in the 2014 budget year. The deduction only applies to Direct Payment amounts above € 2000 and does not apply in Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania where Direct Payments are still being phased in.