COMAGRI voted in favour of requiring Member States to earmark 25% of rural development funds from the EAFRD towards climate and land management payments. Although this is less than the 30% figure proposed by Luis Capoulas Santos MEP (EP rapporteur for rural development), it still goes beyond the Commission’s proposals. MEPs also voted to increase EU cofinancing rates for agri-environment and climate measures to 55% (compared with the Comission's 50% proposal).
COMAGRI rejected both the amendments which explicitly made reference to double funding, but voted in favour of elements of another amendment which explicitly permits EAFRD funding to be used to support agri-environment measures that are also funded via the Pillar 1 greening measures. This is justified on the basis that the ‘greening’ measures should not be viewed as a baseline for Pillar 2 environmental measures.
The committee also accepted a proposal, seemingly counter to WTO rules, that up to 20% of the payment calculation should be regarded as an incentive element over and above the transaction costs. An amendment passed would contradict a proposal by the Commission that support for capital investments in irrigation infrastructure must demonstrate at least 25% reduction in water use.
COMAGRI voted in favour of incorporating risk management measures under Pillar 2 and the introduction of an income stabilisation tool.
In relation to payments for Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC), COMAGRI called on the Commission to present a legislative proposal by 31st December 2014 on the designation of ANCs.
Efforts by environmental NGOs to increase the support for High Nature Value Farming were unsuccessful, leading to continuing concerns that the need to support these farming systems for the important role they play in maintaining biodiversity and providing other ecosystem services is not sufficiently prioritised.
For the full list of amendments, see www.europarl.europa.eu and cap2020.ieep.eu
Amendments to the Rural Development Regulation proposal to take account of Croiatian membership, and of changes to the system in UK: eur-lex.europa.eu