Repayments to APIA owing to changes in the rules

The simplification of procedures in the agricultural sector is a highly topical issue. Unfortunately, however, certain Member States are actually making life harder for themselves and generally complicating matters in the process.

Due to a number of misunderstandings and changes in the rules regarding deadlines for the submission of subsidy applications, many farmers have lost out or are even being ordered to make repayments.

In 2016, one of the conditions of eligibility for dairy subsidies was that the cows had to be less than eight years old on 15 May, the deadline for submitting the application. The deadline was subsequently extended to 16 June 2016 without farmers being informed of this. As a result, some of them received repayment demands of as much as RON 6 500, since their cows were now over eight years old.

This is in the interests of no one and merely causes farmers to lose what little faith they still have in the State.

In view of this:

What instruments does the Commission have at its disposal to prevent such cases arising, with farmers being ordered to pay enormous amounts because of subsequent changes to the rules regarding subsidy applications?