The number of young farmers fell from 3.3 mln in 2005 to 2.3 mln in 2013. The EU allocated 9.6 billion euro to young farmers in 2007-2020 to foster generational renewal in agriculture. The Court found that this aid is often poorly-defined, with no expected result and impact specified. For Pillar 1 (direct payments), the aid is provided in a standardized form not matching young farmers’ needs other than additional income. For Pillar 2 (rural development), the aid better addresses young farmers’ needs and prompts specific actions (e.g. introducing organic farming, water- or energy-saving initiatives), however the managing authorities did not always apply selection procedures to prioritise the best projects. The Court recommends to better define the objectives and target the EU support in order to foster effective generational renewal.
Special report No 10/2017: EU support to young farmers should be better targeted to foster effective generational renewal