The Direct Payments Management Committee in its meeting yesterday backed a proposal by the European Commission to permit Member States to advance 50% of the CAP Direct Payments for 2012 aid applications earlier than usual, in order to address liquidity problems which farmers face due to exceptional conditions caused by the ongoing financial crisis and unfavourable climatic conditions.
The derogation will allow the advance to be paid from October 16 onwards (ie the first day of the 2013 budget year) rather than from the usual date of December 1.
This decision is subject to the necessary controls having taken place.
The formal decision will be published in the Official Journal in the coming weeks.
Until now 10 MS have officially requested to pay direct payments in advance (PT, SP, IT, GR, LT, HU, FR, LV, RO and IE).
For the few member states that maintain "coupled" payments, this derogation will also allow a 80% of the beef and veal payments.
In a separate vote, the Committee provided an exceptional derogation for farmers in Northern Italy [Emilia Romagna, Lombardia and Veneto regions] affected by the earthquake at the end of May, to receive advances from August 1 onwards. The special measure will permit Italy to advance 50% of the Direct Payments to farmers in the 113 communes affected by the earthquake and to the milk producers who deliver their milk on a regular basis to the storage centres situated in those communes – within a maximum limit of €40 million for advances paid before 16 October.