The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, has announced the commencement of payments of over €13.35 million in the form of a BPS refund to approximately 100,000 farmers.
According to the DAFM, the money was deducted from their 2019 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments under the financial discipline rule and is now being reimbursed in line with the EU regulations.
Minister McConalogue said, “I am pleased to confirm that these payments are now being reimbursed to eligible farmers.”
“These payments will bring the total paid to Irish farmers under the 2019 Basic Payment Scheme to over €1.194 billion.”
Financial crisis reserve
In the context of the annual budgetary procedure of the European Union, the financial discipline mechanism which is implemented by the member states involves a monetary deduction (1.4% for the 2019 reduction) from some direct payments, thereby creating a financial crisis reserve for the European Union.
The crisis reserve is intended to provide additional support for the agricultural sector in the case of major crises affecting agricultural production or distribution.
In the event that the crisis reserve is not activated in the financial year or it is not fully utilised, the unused balance is refunded to farmers in the subsequent financial year.
BPS refund in 2020
According to Minister Charlie McConalogue, over €13.35 million was refunded to approximately 100,000 farmers in 2020.
The money was deducted from their 2018 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments under the financial discipline rule and is now being reimbursed in line with the EU regulations.
These payments brought the total paid to Irish farmers under the 2019 Basic Payment Scheme to over €1.192 billion.
Meanwhile, in related news, the Portuguese presidency of the European Council has reached a provisional agreement for a “fairer, greener, more animal-friendly and flexible” CAP.
The agreement is provisional, pending approval by the EU’s agriculture ministers at the upcoming Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting. This will take place on Monday and Tuesday next, June 28th and June 29th.
Each member state will prepare a strategic plan to implement the policy over the next five years. This will allow them to take local conditions into account and focus on performance.