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Parliamentary questions
1 June 2018
Answer given by Mr Hogan on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-001849/2018

Direct Payments (DP) provide farmers with an income support decoupled from production. Production is not required, notably in order to respect World Trade Organisation Green Box requirements. However, beneficiaries have the obligation to exercise an agricultural activity which can be production, or maintenance of the land in a good agricultural state.

Since the decoupling of DP, a new statistical variable for land no longer used for production purposes but eligible for subsidy payments, was introduced, to monitor in particular the impact of decoupling on land use. Most recent data (Farm structure survey — 2013) shows that only 0.8% and 1.1% of agricultural land in the EU and Slovakia, respectively, have been declared as grassland not used for production while continuing to be eligible for direct payments.

Moreover, Member States should target support to those whose agricultural activity is not insignificant through the application of the Active farmer's clause.

Regarding the question on the common agricultural policy after 2020, the Commission explores ways of targeting support to genuine farmers, as explained in its communication on ‘The future of food and farming’ of 29 November 2017(1), while keeping most support decoupled from production.

(1)COM(2017)713 final.

Last updated: 4 June 2018Legal notice