Federal Minister Schmidt: "We are examining the delegated acts on the CAP reform thoroughly"
After presentation of the delegated acts supplementing essential basic acts of the CAP reform by the European Commission on 11 March 2014, Federal Minister of Agriculture Christian Schmidt stated: "We are currently examining these legal acts in great detail. It has been made clear to Brussels that we will take the time necessary for this. I will not agree to them until this examination is complete."
Many of the delegated acts are uncontentious. Even for the delegated regulation on direct payments, which had been discussed particularly controversially, the Commission has now, when compared with the first drafts at the end of last year, taken some concerns of Germany and other member states into consideration.
On the other hand, the delegated regulation still contains very complex and bureaucratic provisions which are difficult to comprehend from the perspective of both the managing authorities and the farmers. This relates, for example, to the requirements on ecological focus areas (EFA). Germany therefore informed the Commission and the President of the Council that this would be subject to a scrutiny reservation.
There is also need for clarification in other points. "For the national implementation of the CAP reform we need not only the delegated acts but also, as soon as possible, the interpretative notes that the Commission promised us. We require clarification with regard to the definition of the active farmer in order to make possible the national implementation of the direct payments scheme. According to the basic legislation the member states are required to lay down essential elements of CAP implementation by 31 July 2014. However, we will only be able to do this if the Commission provides the explanations as soon as possible," explained the Federal Minister of Agriculture.
Council and EP (European Parliament) were heard by the Commission during the drafting of the delegated acts in the expert panel. The delegated acts will come into force unless the Council (with a qualified majority) or the EP (with a simple majority) raises objections within two months.
However, the delegated acts may also come into force at an earlier date if Council and EP state before the closing date that they will not raise objections. The member states were asked at very short notice to state today (21 March 2014) whether they intend to reject any of these delegated regulations. The Council could then possibly already agree to the delegated regulations on 14 April 2014.