European Commission Proposes to Remove Subsidies for Energy Crops

European Commission Proposes to Remove Subsidies for Energy Crops

Removing subsidies for energy crops as of 2009 is one of the new legislative proposals of the European Commission in the area of the Common Agricultural Policy. The proposals were presented by Willi Schulz-Greve, expert at the DG for Agriculture and Rural Development, BTA reported.

Currently, farmers receive 45 euro/ha for areas under energy crops. This market develops very well and the Commission believes that it does not need subsidies any longer, said he.

The Commission proposes to extend the single area payment scheme (SAPS), applied in the 12 new Member States, Bulgaria inclusive. It is expected to expire in 2010 but the Commission proposes to extend it by 2013.

A gradual removal of the milk quotas is another proposal, which is relevant for Bulgaria. These quotas will be gradually removed by April 2015. In order to cushion the effect from this measure the Commission proposes to increase these quotas by one per cent for a five-year period.

Another proposal involves transfer of funds from the direct payments to the rural regions. Under the Accession Agreement, Bulgaria may transfer back funds from the rural regions to the direct payments by 2009.

The European Commission is in favour of less direct payments and more funds for the development of organic farming. Yet, Bulgaria will not have to reduce the direct payments because it is introducing them only now.

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