EU direct payments
The direct payments provided by the EU are part of the income support for farmers funded from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). The objectives and implementation of the common agricultural policy (CAP) are regularly updated and reformed to ensure that the effectiveness of the agricultural support paid by the taxpayers would meet the objectives set on the basis of consumer, environmental and other needs.
After the latest reform, the direct payment schemes applied in Finland in 2015–2020 include basic payment, green direct payment, payment for young farmers and coupled support. Payment amounts are based on the area of land or the number of animals or carcases, and farmers must meet certain eligibility conditions, such as the active farmer condition and cross-compliance rules.
The maximum total amount of direct payments in Finland is €524 million. Basic payments account for some 48% or €254 million of the total amount. Greening payments accounts for 30% or €157 million. At the national level, Finland has decided to pay 19,6%, or some €103 million, as coupled support. The part of the payment of young farmers is approximaterly € 10 million.
The criteria for direct payments have been established by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union in codesicion. The rules have been complemented with a so-called delegated regulation and implementation regulations. Within the powers granted to EU Member States in the above-mentioned legislation, the Finnish Government has adopted two acts and a few government decrees. Links to these documents can be found at the end of this section.