EU farming subsidies ‘should be performance related’

21 Mar 18

Future farm spending in the EU should be based on performance targets and achieve the union’s definition of ‘added value’, European auditors have said.

The European Court of Auditors called for spending under the Common Agriculture Policy to be based on “ambitious and relevant” targets, while respecting the legality and regularity requirements.
 
João Figueiredo, the member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the briefing paper, said: “Agricultural funding may be allocated where it is likely to be fully spent, rather than where it addresses key needs and produces results.
 
“This reflects a culture of spending rather than a culture of performance.”
 
The paper comes in response to the European Commission’s communication on the future of food and farming after 2020.
 
The CAP is currently under review, as the current seven-year planning period for EU finances ends in 2020.
 
The auditors said there currently is no statistical system within the bloc which can provide information on the living standards of the agricultural community.
 
But the auditors have “repeatedly called for such data”, they said, to inform policy aimed at ensuring a fair standard of living for the community and for other CAP objectives.
 
They suggested a new model includes measures based on scientific and statistical evidence that delivers the desired results, as well as relevant, ambitious and verifiable targets for the new ‘CAP strategic plans’, which are aligned with EU objectives.
 
The ECA also said there ought to be a robust performance monitoring and evaluation framework, as well as a solid accountability and audit chain to provide assurance on both compliance and performance.

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