The Omnibus Regulation for agriculture has been adopted on the 13th December 2017, as a separate act from the rest of the proposed Omnibus regulation. It brings several changes in the implementation of the current CAP for the first and second pillars, aiming to simplify the implementation of the policy.
New measures regarding the reduction of administrative burden, risk management, selection and eligibility criteria, financial instruments, rural development and Common Market Organisations are introduced.
For instance, the definition of permanent grasslands has been modified: Member States have now the possibility to consider as permanent grasslands portions of land that include shrubs or trees that produce animal feed but are not directly grazed by animals. This will be particularly important in the Mediterranean mountain areas.
The new delimitation of Areas of Natural Constraints for natural and /or specific areas was supposed to be defined by the end of 2018. The Omnibus regulation prolongs the date of application of the introduction of the new delimitation from 2018 to 2019. The new delimitation will have to be implemented at the latest in February / March 2019, when submissions of payments by the farmers will be made, in order to be ready for the 2019 payment campaign. This delay is particularly welcome as in September 2017, only 37 regions or Member States had put their new delimitation in place.
The Omnibus should enter into force on 1st January 2018. The Commission has planned to quickly prepare the necessary delegated act to ensure a real implementation of the regulation at the beginning of the year (and to avoid delays in the implementation on the ground).
For more information, please find here the full text adopted by the European Parliament and the EU Council21 December 2017