With an annual expenditure of around 18 billion euros, the Basic Payment Scheme, which was introduced in 2015, is the EU’s biggest income support scheme for farmers. We found that the scheme was operationally on track, but that its impact on simplification, targeting and the convergence of aid levels was limited.
We make a number of recommendations to the Commission concerning the correction of farmers’ payment entitlements, key controls by paying agencies, the systems for disseminating information among Member States, and the role of national certification bodies.
For the next programming period after 2020, we recommend that the Commission analyse the factors impacting income for all groups of farmers, their income support needs and the value of the public goods that farmers provide. Proposed income support measures for farmers should be linked, from the outset, to appropriate operational objectives and baselines against which their performance could be compared.