EU Farmers’ Voices Heard With New Online Survey

Mar 11, 2024 | News

In line with its commitment to alleviate the administrative burdens faced by farmers, the European Commission has initiated an online survey to directly collect insights from EU farmers. The survey, operational from March 7th to April 8th, is designed to gather valuable feedback in all EU languages on various aspects, such as the time spent on administrative tasks related to aid application and reporting obligations, the utilisation of mobile devices for geo-tagged photos, and opinions on the complexity of different farm procedures and rules.

Farmers are encouraged to share their experiences, including whether they sought external assistance for their CAP aid application in 2023. The responses received will play a pivotal role in comprehending the primary concerns of farmers, offering a direct channel for them to express their views.

This survey aims to pinpoint the sources of administrative burdens and complexities arising from CAP rules and other regulations governing food and agriculture. The focus extends to both national and international levels, encompassing the application, recording, and reporting obligations associated with these rules. Preliminary results are anticipated by mid-April, complemented by interviews with farmers’ organisations to provide a holistic perspective.

By summer, the survey promises to offer a comprehensive understanding of the administrative challenges perceived and faced by farmers, serving as a foundation for a detailed analysis to be published in Autumn 2024. The analysis will delve into the sources of complexity at various levels, including the EU, national, CAP, and other regulatory requirements.

The European Commission has already taken actions since the beginning of the year to alleviate the pressures faced by EU farmers. Notable measures include the adoption, on February 12th, of a partial derogation to rules on land lying fallow (GAEC 8), responding to farmers’ and Member States’ requests. Ahead of the Council of Agriculture Ministers on February 26th, the Commission submitted a portfolio of short and mid-term actions for discussions with EU countries. The online survey, a short-term action, aligns with other simplification initiatives, including certain checks and clarifications on force majeure and exceptional circumstances. Consultations on these topics have commenced with Member States.

Looking ahead, the Commission plans to unveil further proposals for mid-term actions and initiatives to enhance the position of farmers in the food supply chain by mid-March. The collective effort aims to streamline agricultural processes, making a tangible impact on the daily operations of EU farmers.

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