The European Commission has said it will encourage EU-wide harmonisation of fines for farmers that breach environmental rules under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
However, the institution insisted that it was “important” that member states retain some autonomy in how they are applied.
The Commission's statement came in response to a report published by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) last Thursday. It recommended that cross-compliance – the basic rules on aspects such as soil protection and animal health that farmers need to follow to receive CAP payments – should be simplified further to make it more effective from 2020 onwards.
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