€433 million in unused crisis reserve funding to be reimbursed to EU farmers

It has been confirmed that a total of €433 million in unused crisis reserve funding for the agriculture sector will be made available for reimbursement to farmers across the EU.

The confirmation was set out in a regulation published today (Tuesday, November 28) by the European Commission.

Out of this total – which comes from the agricultural crisis reserve for the 2017 budget year – just over €13.2 million will be made available to reimburse Irish farmers.

Last year, the commission announced that it would refund Irish farmers to the tune of €13.6 million in December of 2016.

The highest amounts reimbursed to member states include:
  • France – €89,884,134;
  • Germany – €58,035,302;
  • Spain – €54,860,187;
  • The UK – €37,930,754;
  • Italy – €37,765,185;
  • Poland – €24,870,087.

The agricultural crisis reserve is made up of money taken from farmers’ direct payments for this year, according to the commission. Member states may reimburse the amounts deducted to farmers as from Friday, December 1, it added.

The deduction only applies to direct payments above €2,000.

Despite a number of critical situations in the agricultural sector in the past year, the funds available in the crisis reserve in 2017 were not used, a statement from the European Commission explained.

Additional support measures for some sectors facing difficulties, such as fruit, vegetables, dairy and other livestock sectors were financed from the existing budget in 2017, it added.

Farmers concerned by damages caused by adverse weather conditions in spring this year have been supported with higher advances for direct payments for 2018, and derogations from certain conditions related to greening payments.

“The concept of the agricultural crisis reserve and reimbursement mechanism was agreed in the 2013 reform of the common agricultural policy and was applied for the first time in the 2014 budget year,” the commission concluded.