The so-called "de minimis" aid has proved to be particularly useful in times of crisis as it enables a quicker reaction in helping farmers overcome emergencies, such as temporary liquidity gaps. The Commission is responding to Member States' call to increase the ceiling of this aid which will allow them to distribute funds on a bigger scale and more quickly without going through the necessary notifications.
To ensure that no market distortions occur, an additional safeguard is introduced: a single agricultural sector cannot receive more than 50% of the total amount of the national de minimis aid. The Commission is also proposing to create a central registry which Member States will have to set up and use.
This will make the monitoring of the aid's use and distribution simpler. The Commission is currently seeking feedback on its proposal from public authorities across the EU having made use of this tool.
The consultation remains open until 16 April 2018.
The proposal is expected to be adopted in the summer by the Commission after consulting the Member States.