The funds will be used to support dairy and livestock farmers with the first instalments set to reach beneficiaries in October 2016.
The measures were presented to the Council of EU Agriculture Ministers by Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan.
“Coming at a time of significant budgetary pressures, this package provides a further robust response, and means that the Commission has mobilised more than €1bn in new money to support hard-pressed farmers. Our ultimate goal is to see the much needed recovery of prices paid to farmers, so that they may make a living from their work and continue to provide safe, high quality food for citizens, as well as their contribution to rural areas and rural jobs and the provision of public goods,” Hogan said.
The package contains three main elements including an EU-wide scheme to provide incentives for a reduction in milk production (€150m) and conditional adjustment aid to be defined and implemented at Member State level. These will come out of a menu proposed by the Commission (€350m that Member States will be allowed to match with national funds, thus potentially doubling the level of support being provided to farmers).
The third main element encompasses a range of technical measures to provide flexibility (e.g. on voluntary coupled support), cash-flow relief (e.g. through an increase in the amount of the advances for both direct and area-based rural development payments) and reinforce the safety net instruments (by prolonging intervention and private storage aid for Skimmed Milk Powder).
The precise details of all the different measures will be finalised in the coming weeks, in consultation with Member State experts. The budget implications of the proposed measures will be incorporated in an amending letter to the draft budget 2017 in the autumn.