Simplification of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is a key first priority for EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan next year.

Addressing European Parliament Committee on Budgetary Control Hogan said work of simplifying the CAP should also help reduce errors.

Hogan cited that simplification and reduced administrative burden was an explicit aim of the CAP reform legal proposals.

He highlighted that some work had been done such as the number of cross-compliance requirements has been reduced and, for rural development, lump-sum payments and standard costs are promoted.

However, he said other significant simplification proposals have not been taken up and new complex rules have been introduced.

He cited examples including the fact there will be no reduction of the number of paying agencies at least in the next three years, the“50/50” rule in the recovery mechanism for irregularities was maintained, greening rules are more complicated than in the Commission’s proposal, coupled payments and various further options have been introduced.

Hogan said the Commission will carefully assess these aspects during the first years of implementation. He said he has committed to making a simplification and subsidiarity strategy for the CAP one of my first priorities.

Calls have been made for Hogan to address the power of the supermarkets by Gerd Sonnleitner, UN Goodwill Ambassador for the 2014 FAO International Year of Family Farming.

He said he hopes the new EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan will be able to do something about the power of supermarkets. “We hope very much the new EU Commissioner for Agriculture will address this problem.”