ANNOUNCEMENT 20 Dec 2014
In December 2014, the Spanish government established the eligibility criteria and requirements of the direct income payment scheme. The scheme aims to support farmers in Spain under the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) 2014-2020 (see related state act).
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
Boletín Oficial del Estado. Official Gazette. "Real Decreto 1078/2014, de 19 de diciembre, por el que se establecen las normas de la condicionalidad que deben cumplir los beneficiarios que reciban pagos directos, determinadas primas anuales de desarrollo rural, o pagos en virtud de determinados programas de apoyo al sector vitivinícola." 20/12/2014. Available at: https://www.boe.es/buscar/doc.php?id=BOE-A-2014-13259
EUR-Lex. Official Gazette. "Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 establishing rules for direct payments to farmers under support schemes within the framework of the common agricultural policy and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 637/2008 and Council Regulation (EC) No 73/2009". 20/12/2013. Available at: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32013R1307&qid=1619526760849
On 20 December 2014, the Spanish government adopted Royal Decree 1078/2014 establishing the eligibility criteria and requirements of the direct income payment scheme. Under the scheme, eligible local farmers receive direct income payments under the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF). The 2015-2020 budget for these Spanish payments has a total value of EUR 24.6 billion (approx. USD 30.1 billion) established by Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 of 2 December 2013, see related state act.
Income support measures to farmers take the form of financial grants. According to Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013, beneficiaries are active farmers that meet minimum requirements further specified by the Member States. In the case of Spain, Royal Decree 1078/2014 establishes eligibility criteria and requirements to be met by national applicants by referring to a set of provisions included in other regulations and standards. These additional requirements are outlined in two Annexes. The first Annex concerns farm management conditions (registration, soil and climate change conditions, animal health and welfare, among others). The second Annex concerns best agrarian and environmental practices with regards to water, soil and scenery usage. Beneficiaries of the scheme must meet the outlined conditions.
The payments system will be managed by the Spanish Agrarian Guarantee Fund (FEGA in Spanish) under the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment. FEGA is in charge of reviewing if farmers meet the eligibility criteria and coordinate with the regional authorities that will be in charge of the payment transactions.
The measure entered into force on 1 January 2015 and shall be applicable during the 2015-2020 period. Previous to that, Spain was financing its income support payments primarily from the 2007-2013 budget of the EAGF which was established under a different subset of rules.
EU's CAP framework
The CAP framework is the EU-wide agricultural policy established in 1962 that is subject to reforms and new rules every six years. According to the EU, it aims to support farmers and improve agricultural productivity, ensuring a stable supply of affordable food. Under the CAP, Member States provide three main types of support to the agriculture sector: (i) income support measures, (ii) market measures; and (iii) rural development measures. The two first are primarily financed by the EAGF; whilst the third and last support type is financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).