The European Commission has today proposed the extension of the deadline of aid applications for Direct Payments to Monday, June 15.

This represents an extension of one month on the original May 15 deadline. The extension would also apply to area-based payments in the Pillar II of the CAP.

Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, said he has proposed to allow Member States to extend the deadline so that farmers do not suffer the consequences of delays on the part of administrations, which are faced with the challenge of the first year of implementation of the new Common Agricultural Policy.

“Member States can now take up this option, which should also help avoid penalties for late applications from recipients,” he said.

Commissioner Hogan also said that it goes without saying that EU Member States who would decide to postpone the final date for submission of aid application should ensure that their administration and control system allow safeguarding sound financial management.

Deadlines to submit aid applications are fixed by the Member States and, under current rules, shall not be later than May 15.

The Commission has said the extension would apply for 2015 only and will be voluntary.

It is understood the Department is still waiting clarification on whether the GLAS deadline will be affected and possibly pushed back.

The April 30 deadline for submission of GLAS applications has been criticised by many agricultural planners who said it was too tight a window from when the scheme was opened.