ANNOUNCEMENT 15 Mar 2013
In March 2013, the Finnish government established the eligibility criteria and requirements of the direct income payment scheme. The scheme aims to support farmers in Finland under the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) 2014-2020 (see related state act).
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
Lag om Europeiska unionens direktstöd till jordbruket. Finlex. Available at: https://finlex.fi/sv/laki/ajantasa/2013/20130193
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 15 March 2013, the Finnish government published the ‘Law on European Union direct payments to agriculture’ (193/2013), 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 Finnish payments was set out in Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 at EUR 2.62 billion (approx. USD 3.42 billion).
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 specific by member states. In the case of Finland, the adopted Law 193/2013 establishes the national eligibility criteria and requirements to be met by applicants by referring to a set of provisions included in other regulations and standards. The requirements relate to good agricultural practice and good environmental conditions and must be met by beneficiaries of the scheme.
The payments were to be managed by the Finnish Agency for Rural Affairs (Landsbygdsverket), an agency that now is incorporated into the Finnish Food Authority (Ruokavirasto/Livsmedelsverket). The Finnish Food Authority, now in charge of managing the payments, is Finland’s administrative authority for food, agriculture, rural affairs and national land survey. The Agency for Rural Affairs are in charge of verifying the sustainable conditions of the applying farmers.
The measure entered into force on 19 March 2013 and shall be applicable until the end of 2020. Prior to the measure, Finland was financing its income support payments primarily from the 2007-2013 budget of the EAGF which was established under a different subset of rules. In order to grant income support payments to Finnish farmers using the budget from the 2015-2020 budget, Finland needed to establish the national rules for the 2014-2020 CAP framework.
EU's CAP framework
The CAP framework is the EU-wide agricultural policy was 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).