Responding to a request from a number of Member States in recent weeks, Commissioner Hogan has confirmed today that he is prepared to allow those Member States that wish to do so, to extend by one month the final date (from 15 May to 15 June) for farmers to submit their aid application for direct payments and certain payment claims under rural development. It is entirely a matter for Member States whether they choose to avail of the flexibility being offered to them. A formal implementing regulation to this effect will be adopted by the Commission and published in the coming days.
Commissioner Hogan today said: "The Commission's decision to extend this exceptional flexibility reflects the severity of the economic situation in certain agricultural markets and some limited outstanding difficulties arising from the first year of implementation of the direct payment schemes and rural development measures. It is anticipated that this relaxation of the rules will help some farmers with specific difficulties in submitting their application/claims in time. Member States who decide to postpone the final date for submission of aid application must still ensure that rules on sound financial management are respected."