The European Court of Auditors (ECA) will publish a special report “Greening: a more complex income support scheme, not yet environmentally effective” on Tuesday 12 December 2017 at 11h30 in 23 EU languages.
ABOUT THE AUDIT
The auditors examined whether greening was capable of enhancing the environmental and climate performance of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in accordance with EU objectives. They conducted interviews with the authorities in Greece, Spain (Castile and León), France (Aquitaine and Nord-Pas-de-Calais), the Netherlands and Poland. In addition, they reviewed the risk of double funding for Belgium (Wallonia), the Czech Republic, Germany (Brandenburg), Ireland, Italy (Campania), Lithuania, Austria, Slovenia, Finland and the UK (Wales).
ABOUT THE TOPIC
Greening is a new type of direct payment introduced with the 2013 reform of the CAP. It was designed to reward farmers for having a positive impact on the environment which would otherwise not be rewarded by the market. It is the only direct payment whose main stated objective is environmental.
When greening was introduced, the European Parliament and the Council shifted the greening funds over from other direct payments. The total budget for CAP direct payments has therefore remained relatively stable. The EU spends €12 billion per year on the new green payment, representing 30% of all CAP direct payments and almost 8% of the whole EU budget. For farmers, this translates into an average rate of around €80 per hectare per year.
The ECA’s special reports set out the results of its audits of EU policies and programmes or management topics related to specific budgetary areas. The ECA selects and designs these audit tasks to be of maximum impact by considering the risks to performance or compliance, the level of income or spending involved, forthcoming developments and political and public interest.