Timescales and progress
A political agreement was reached on 26 June 2013 on reforming the CAP and work continues to finalise the legislative text. The reforms were originally scheduled to start in January 2014 but changes to the system of Direct Payments to farmers, which is the subject of the consultation, will not now commence until 1 January 2015.
The timescale for implementation is short and for this reason the Department decided that a public consultation on the implementation options should go ahead prior to final agreement on the legal texts.
The consultation document describes the agreed Pillar I reforms and explains DARD's suggestions for implementing these reforms using the various options available to it under the agreement. The document outlines a suggested package of support and seeks views on this package.
All proposed decisions are subject to confirmation of the final regulations (when agreed) as well as the finalisation of the CAP budget. Given that some of the legislative text has not yet been confirmed there may be a need for the Department to provide additional material to stakeholders during the course of the consultation.