An agreement has been reached at EU level on how regional data on farming and agriculture is collected and shared in member states.

Today (Monday, November 29), the Council of the EU and the European Parliament have agreed to update the way regional farming statistics are reported, as part of an effort to modernise Europe’s agricultural statistics system to bring it in line with developments in the sector, including the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

The new regulation amends the existing legislation on economic accounts for agriculture by formalising the requirement for member states to report regional agricultural data to the European Commission.

The rules will take effect from 2023 at the earliest and will contribute to better reporting under the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the council said in a statement.

Commenting on this development, a spokesperson for the Slovenian presidency of the Council of the EU (Slovenia is holding the presidency until the end of this year) said: “Today’s agreement marks an important step forward in our efforts to modernise the European agricultural statistics system, thus improving the quantity and quality of data available.

“We firmly believe that this regional data will also contribute to a more targeted and effective implementation of the CAP,” the spokesperson added.

The political agreement to implement the changes will be approved by the council’s Special Committee on Agriculture. It will then be formally adopted by both the parliament and the council following legal review.

The new regulations stem from a strategy for agricultural statistics that was published by Eurostat – the EU’s statistics gathering agency – in 2015.

This strategy called for the EU’s agricultural statistics system to be updated to bring it in line with changes to farming policy as well as to reflect changes in the agricultural sector relating to globalisation and climate change.

Following that, the commission proposed to modernise farming statistics in Europe by introducing new regulations on integrated farm statistics (IFS) and agricultural input and output statistics (SAIO), as well as updating the existing regulation on economic accounts for agriculture so as to formalise the collection of regional data.

Up to that point, data had been shared only on an informal basis.