The European Commission has today announced that it will reduce red tape for both farmers and administrations by making rules more transparent, easier to understand and less burdensome to comply with. This is a continuation of the EU's ongoing drive to reduce the regulatory burden.
The intention is to develop a CAP simplification action plan in 2006. The action plan will be drawn up taking into account the suggestions made by Member States and stakeholders. In order to gather views, the intention is to hold a simplification conference in 2006, focusing on the views and needs of stakeholders.
The EU Commission proposes to simplify by:
.Eliminating unnecessary or out of date provisions through a "legal audit" of existing rules. .Providing a single set of harmonised rules in areas such as import tariffs, state aid rules and promotion of agricultural products, within one single Common Market Organisation (CMO) via an amalgamation of existing CMOs. .Assisting national administrations to reduce burdens imposed on farmers.
NFU Scotland Policy Director, Scott Walker, said:
"On the face of it, any simplification of rules and reduction of red tape is good news. The regulatory burden that farmers have to comply with and the paperwork that has to be completed swallows an enormous amount of their time.
"However, other red tape reducing initiatives have not filtered down to grassroots levels and have not noticeably reduced the regulatory burden on farmers or simplified the processes associated with the CAP. There will be a degree of scepticism as to whether this new initiative will achieve any more.
"We will of course be feeding our views into this process and hope that the outcome will result in a reduction in red tape."
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