15 June 2020 News

EP AGRI Committee voted to raise financial support for farmers dealing with COVID-19 crisis

Within the wider package of measures proposed by the European Commission to face the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, the Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament last week approved rules to increase the financial support that EU countries could give to farmers and agri-food SMEs from the EU Rural Development Fund.

This temporary measure would allow Member States to use money from their rural development programmes for a one-off lump-sum compensation to farmers and small rural businesses, in order to help them remain in business.

Specifically, MEPs voted on a set of amendments, informally agreed with the Council, to raise ceilings for the aid originally tabled by Commission and to extend the time to release it.

AGRI Committee voted unanimously in favour of increasing up to € 7.000 the payable compensation for individual farmers and of maintaining the level of € 50.000 for the support for agri-food SMEs. Furthermore, they all agreed on the extension of the deadline for making the payment until 30 June 2021. However, applications for support will have to be approved before 31 December 2020.

Finally, compared to Commission’s proposal, the ceiling to finance this liquidity support measure has been raised to 2% of the total contribution from the European agricultural fund for rural development (EAFRD) to rural development programmes in each Member State.

This week plenary should give green light to this set of amendments, hence, after Council’s approval, the regulation should be published in the EU’s Official Journal and enter into force immediately afterwards.

More info here:

COVID-19: MEPs boost aid for farmers from the EU rural development fund

EPRS: Coronavirus crisis support for EU farmers