The European Commission approved measures to help agriculture and fisheries | The European Commission approved measures to help agriculture and fisheries
National Paying Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania
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2020.04.08

The European Commission approved measures to help agriculture and fisheries

The European Commission approved measures to help agriculture and fisheries
After an unprecedented crisis that Europe incurred due to coronavirus outbreak, the European Commission (EC) announced about a package of nęw measures to help agri-food sector. The Coronavirus Investment Initiative Plus (CRII +) proposed by the EC will facilitate the use of European Structural Investment Funds, including the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). The initiative, which increases the flexibility of using EAFRD funds, will support farmers, rural areas and the European Union member states. 
 
Now farmers and other beneficiaries of the EU rural development support will be able to receive loans up to EUR 200 thousand or guarantees on favourable terms (reduced interest rates or favourable payment schedule). Unused funds from the Rural Development Programmes will be available for other measures of these programmes that need funding. The EC also proposes to simplify other Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) instruments. The EU member states are allowed to set a longer application deadline, which means that farmers will have more time to complete the documents both for direct and rural development payments. Aiming to increase farmers' cash flow, the EC will increase advance payments: from 50 per cent to 70 per cent for direct payments and from 75 per cent up to 85 per cent for rural development payments. Farmers will receive these advances as of mid-October 2020. 
 
Since it is now crucial to minimise contacts between farmers and inspectors conducting on-the-spot checks, the new package provides for a reduction of number of such checks. As all EU countries are required to carry out on-the-spot checks to ensure that beneficiaries comply with the eligibility requirements, this measure will help to reduce administrative burden and avoid delays in evaluation of applications. The EC has also provided for facilitations to national authorities by postponing the deadlines for some administrative procedures, thus giving them more time to prepare. The EC also proposes to amend the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Regulation to provide for temporary aid measures for the fisheries sector affected by coronavirus: support in the event of temporary cessation of fishing, compensation for aquaculture farms, support for the temporary storage of fishery products. Aiming to implement these measures, the member states will be granted more flexibility in the redistribution of available funds; the  procedures for amending operational programmes are also simplified.
 
The EC is currently preparing legislation to implement the above measures.
 
The National Paying Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture is the institution that administers the EU support to agriculture, rural development and fisheries in Lithuania.
 
 
 
Last updated: 2020-06-26 13:53