Brussels, 19 December 2006
The European Commission welcomes today's decision by the Agriculture Council to extend until 2010 the simplified direct aid scheme applicable in eight of the Member States which joined the EU in 2004. In the interests of simplifying the management of the CAP, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia will be allowed to continue operating the Single Area Payment Scheme (SAPS) for a further two years until the end of 2010. Under SAPS, uniform per-hectare entitlements are granted within any one region from regional financial envelopes.
"I am looking closely at how we can make the operation of the Common Agricultural Policy as simple as possible," said Mariann Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development. "In this context, extending the SAPS scheme makes perfect sense because it has proved a very simple and efficient method of supporting farmers in the countries which operate it.”
Improving functioning of direct payments to farmers:
Todays’ agreement, based on a proposal from the Commission, includes improvements to certain rules governing direct payments, notably: