Pillar I of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) permits the use of coupled support i.e. a payment directly linked to the volume of output of a specific agricultural product. In June 2014, as part of the CAP reform decisions, the DARD Minister announced that a coupled support scheme would not be introduced but that this position would be kept under review. If coupled support were to be used in Northern Ireland during the remainder of the current CAP mandate, then this would need to be notified to the EU Commission by no later than 1 August 2016.
Consultation opened on 16 February 2016. Closing date 29 April 2016.