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Document 32021R2289

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/2289 of 21 December 2021 laying down rules for the application of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the presentation of the content of the CAP Strategic Plans and on the electronic system for the secure exchange of information

C/2021/9601

OJ L 458, 22.12.2021, p. 463–485 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, GA, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

In force

ELI: http://data.europa.eu/eli/reg_impl/2021/2289/oj

22.12.2021   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 458/463


COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) 2021/2289

of 21 December 2021

laying down rules for the application of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the presentation of the content of the CAP Strategic Plans and on the electronic system for the secure exchange of information

THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

Having regard to Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 2 December 2021 establishing rules on support for strategic plans to be drawn up by Member States under the common agricultural policy (CAP Strategic Plans) and financed by the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and repealing Regulations (EU) No 1305/2013 and (EU) No 1307/2013 (1), and in particular Article 117 and Article 150(3) thereof,

Whereas:

(1)

Pursuant to Article 104(1) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 Member States are to establish CAP Strategic Plans in accordance with that Regulation to implement the Union support financed by the EAGF and the EAFRD. Rules for the presentation of the content of those CAP Strategic Plans, based in particular on the requirements set out in Articles 107 to 115 of that Regulation should be laid down.

(2)

In order to allow a consistent and complete assessment by the Commission of the content of the CAP Strategic Plans, Member States should have the possibility to include additional annexes not required pursuant to Article 115 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 and not subject to approval in accordance with Articles 118 and 119 of that Regulation.

(3)

Article 150(1) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 provides that the Commission, in collaboration with Member States, is to establish an information system to enable the secure exchange of data of common interest between the Commission and each Member State. It is necessary to provide for rules for the operation of that system, and in particular on the share of responsibilities of the Commission and the Member States in this regard. Those rules should apply to the information to be submitted in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 or with the delegated or implementing acts adopted pursuant to that Regulation.

(4)

Since Member States need to have rules on the presentation of the elements of the CAP Strategic Plans and on the transmission of those plans when submitting them to the Commission for approval, this Regulation should enter into force on the day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

(5)

The measures provided for in this Regulation are in accordance with the opinion of the Common Agricultural Policy Committee,

HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

Article 1

Content of the CAP Strategic Plan

Member States shall present the content of the CAP Strategic Plan provided for in Title V, Chapter II, of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 as set out in Annex I to this Regulation.

Article 2

Additional annexes to the CAP Strategic Plan

Member States may submit additional information as separate annexes to their CAP Strategic Plan in addition to the ones set out in Article 115 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115.

The approval of the CAP Strategic Plan in accordance with Article 118 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 and the approval of an amendment of the CAP Strategic Plan in accordance with Article 119(10) of that Regulation shall not apply to those additional annexes.

Article 3

Electronic system for the secure exchange of information

Member States shall carry out exchanges of information to be made in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 or in accordance with the delegated or implementing acts adopted pursuant to that Regulation by means of the electronic system for the secure exchange of information called ‘SFC2021’, for which the responsibilities of the Commission and the Member States are set out in Annex II to this Regulation.

By way of derogation from paragraph 1, information related to Title III, Chapter III, of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 to be sent by Member States pursuant to the implementing act to be adopted on the basis of Article 143(4) of that Regulation shall be transmitted in accordance with the rules laid down in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1185 (2) and by means of the information-technology-based system made available by the Commission pursuant to that Implementing Regulation.

Article 4

Entry into force

This Regulation shall enter into force on the day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at Brussels, 21 December 2021.

For the Commission

The President

Ursula VON DER LEYEN


(1)  OJ L 435, 6.12.2021, p. 1.

(2)  Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1185 of 20 April 2017 laying down rules for the application of Regulations (EU) No 1307/2013 and (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards notifications to the Commission of information and documents and amending and repealing several Commission Regulations (OJ L 171, 4.7.2017, p. 113).


ANNEX I

Presentation of the content of the CAP Strategic Plan

1.   Strategic statement

The overview of the CAP Strategic Plan shall outline what the CAP aims to achieve in the Member State’s territory. It shall focus on the main expected results and interventions, including relevant elements of the green architecture, in light of the identified needs, and summarise key choices on financial allocation. It shall demonstrate how these aspects relate to each other. Highlights may be provided as to how the main elements provided in the Commission Recommendations for the CAP Strategic Plan have been addressed.

2.   Assessment of needs, intervention strategy, context indicators and target plan

2.1.   Assessment of needs

For each specific objective referred to in Article 6(1) and (2) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, this subsection of the CAP Strategic Plan shall contain:

(a)

a summary of the analysis of the situation in terms of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (‘the SWOT analysis’) into four parts (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats);

(b)

an identification and description of each need regardless of whether they are addressed with CAP Strategic Plan interventions. This shall include:

(i)

a description of the need, including types of areas or territories concerned where relevant;

(ii)

the link of each need with one or more specific objectives referred to in Article 6(1) and (2) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115;

(iii)

with regard to the specific objective referred to in Article 6(1), point (a), of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, an assessment of those needs in relation to a fairer distribution and more effective and efficient targeting of direct payments, where relevant taking into account the farm structure, and an assessment of needs in relation to risk management;

(iv)

with regard to needs linked to the specific objectives referred to in Article 6(1), points (d), (e) and (f), of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, how the relevant targets and other elements of the national environmental and climate plans emanating from the legislative acts referred to in Annex XIII to that Regulation have been taken into account. The description shall make clear which needs relate to which of the relevant targets or national environmental and climate plans.

This subsection shall define at the level of the CAP Strategic Plan:

(a)

prioritisation of needs, including a sound justification of the choices made and the method and criteria used;

(b)

where relevant, an explanation of the reasons why certain needs are not addressed or partially addressed in the CAP Strategic Plan;

(c)

where relevant, an assessment of needs of specific geographical areas, such as the outermost regions, mountainous and island areas.

2.2.   Intervention strategy

This subsection shall contain for each specific objective referred to in Article 6(1) and (2) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115:

(a)

a description of the intervention strategy, explaining how the combination of interventions, and other relevant key elements of the CAP Strategic Plan are expected to work together in addressing the needs, including territorial aspects, how interventions contribute in a direct and significant way to the specific objective and how they combine with other relevant instruments outside the CAP Strategic Plan;

(b)

a selection of the result indicator(s) on the basis of the assessment of needs, including a justification of the targets and related milestones relevant for the entire CAP Strategic Plan, based on the list in Annex I to Regulation (EU) 2021/2115. The links between result indicators and objectives shall be consistent with both the needs assessment and intervention logic, and shall take into account the links between interventions and result indicators.

Member States shall set one target value per result indicator for the whole CAP Strategic Plan period.

When the target is a ratio, Member States shall provide the numerator and the denominator. The values of targets and annual milestones shall be coherent and compatible with the needs and also with the values of planned outputs of the interventions linked to the corresponding result indicators and shall include, where relevant, the additional national financing referred to in Article 115(5) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115;

(c)

an explanation on how the interventions allow reaching the targets and how they are mutually coherent and compatible;

(d)

a justification that the financial allocations to the interventions are adequate to achieve the targets set and are consistent with the financial plan;

(e)

where relevant, a justification of the use of the InvestEU and its contribution to the achievement of one or more of the specific objectives set out in Article 6(1) and (2) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 and selected under the CAP Strategic Plan.

This subsection shall also include an explanation of the national contribution to achieving the Union’s targets for 2030 set out in the Farm to Fork Strategy and the EU Biodiversity Strategy with a view to allowing the Commission to assess the consistency and contribution of the proposed CAP Strategic Plan to the Union’s environmental and climate legislation and commitments and, in particular, to the relevant Union targets. Member States may add further information in an additional annex to the CAP Strategic Plan as referred to in Article 2 of this Regulation.

2.3.   Context indicators

This subsection shall provide, for the context indicators listed in Annex I to Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 used as denominators of result indicators, the baseline value and year, using the latest available data.

2.4.   Target plan

This subsection shall display in a recapitulative table, for each result indicator selected for the intervention logic in accordance with subsection 2.2, point (b), the target value and annual milestones.

3.   Consistency of the strategy

For each subsection, this section shall provide an overview of synergies and complementarities emerging from a combination of interventions and conditions set in the CAP Strategic Plan.

This section shall contain the following subsections:

3.1.   An overview of the environmental and climate architecture

This subsection shall include a description on:

(a)

the overall contribution of conditionality to the specific environmental and climate-related objectives;

(b)

the complementarity between the relevant baseline conditions, as referred to in Articles 31(5) and 70(3) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, conditionality and the different interventions addressing environmental and climate-related objectives set out in Article 6(1), points (d), (e), and (f), of that Regulation;

(c)

the way the increased ambition with regard to environmental and climate-related objectives, as set out in Article 105 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 is expected to be achieved;

(d)

an explanation of how the environmental and climate architecture contributes to, and is consistent with the long-term national targets set out or derived from the legislative acts referred to in Annex XIII to Regulation (EU) 2021/2115;

(e)

for each GAEC, a description of the way the Union standard is implemented, including the following elements: a summary of the on-farm practice, territorial scope, type of farmers subject to the standard and, where necessary, a description of how the practice contributes to achieving the GAEC standard’s main objective.

This description shall include the following information:

(i)

for GAEC 1: a summary of the on-farm obligations such as authorisation and reconversion and other rules in case that the ratio of permanent grassland in relation to total agricultural area falls below the reference ratio, the territorial level (national, regional, sub-regional, holding level) for the calculation of the reference ratio of permanent grassland in relation to total agricultural area, the value of the reference ratio at the applicable levels as well as an explanation of its calculation;

(ii)

for GAEC 2, an indication of:

the main types of agricultural areas present in the peatland and wetland areas identified and designated;

the requirements that will be applied to the different types of agricultural land to protect carbon-rich soils;

the starting year of the application of the GAEC; if the application is planned for claim year 2024 or 2025, a justification of this delay shall be provided based on the needs and planning as regards the management system referred to in footnote 1 to GAEC 2 in Annex III to Regulation (EU) 2021/2115;

if the application of this GAEC is planned for claim year 2024 or 2025, the description of the type of agricultural areas in the designated area and the summary of the on-farm practices shall be provided at the latest in the CAP Strategic Plan amendment as approved by the Commission in accordance with Article 119 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 prior to the first year of application of the GAEC;

(iii)

for GAEC 3: an indication of the conditions for the derogation for plant health reasons;

(iv)

for GAEC 4:

the minimal width of buffer strips and the definition of water courses to be protected by applying this standard, where relevant, to be provided in the territorial scope;

explanation of the specific local circumstances, if Member States adjust the minimum width of buffer strips in areas with significant dewatering and irrigation ditches;

(v)

for GAEC 5: a summary of the on-farm practice specifying the slope gradient and, identifying, where relevant, the areas at risk of erosion;

(vi)

for GAEC 6:

a summary of the on-farm practice specifying the most sensitive period(s) concerned and the type of soil cover;

if Member States apply footnote 2 to GAEC 6 of Annex III to Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, explanation of the specific conditions of the regions concerned;

(vii)

for GAEC 7:

a summary of the on-farm practice specifying the rotation practices and the definition of crop and secondary crop;

the type of farmers concerned including the exemptions applied referred to in Annex III to Regulation (EU) 2021/2115;

where Member State authorise practices related to enhanced crop rotation with leguminous crops and crop diversification in specific regions of their territory as referred to in footnote 3 to GAEC 7 in Annex III to Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, an explanation of the contribution of these practices to preserve the soil potential in line with the objectives of the GAEC on the basis of the diversity of farming methods and agro-climatic conditions in the regions concerned and a justification of the choice made;

(viii)

for GAEC 8:

an explanation of the choice of options made by Member States for the minimum share of arable land devoted to non-productive areas or features, particularly if not all three options laid down in Annex III to Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 are applicable;

the specific share(s) of arable land subject to the standard;

an indication of landscape features and non-productive areas from the following indicative list: land lying fallow, hedgerows, individual or groups of trees, trees rows, field margins, patches, buffer strips, ditches, streams, small ponds, small wetlands, stonewalls, cairns, terraces, cultural features, other;

for each type of landscape feature and non-productive areas selected by Member States among the ones of the indicative list under the second indent of this point, an indication of the minimum size and weighting factors or conversion factors used for the calculation of the minimum share of landscape features and non-productive areas in arable land according to their contribution to the biodiversity objective, where applicable;

the information on the type of farmers concerned, including the exemptions applied referred to in footnote 1 to GAEC 8 in Annex III to Regulation (EU) 2021/2115;

the list of landscape features concerned by the standard on retention of landscape features;

the measures for avoiding invasive plant species where applicable;

(ix)

for GAEC 9: elements to designate environmentally-sensitive permanent grassland and the corresponding indicative number of hectares;

(f)

when Member States set additional GAEC standards to those laid down in Annex III concerning the main objectives of that Annex, pursuant to Article 13(2) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, an explanation of the on-farm practice, territorial scope, type of farmers subject to the standard and description of how the standard contributes to achieving the objective;

(g)

where relevant, an explanation of the CAP contribution to leverage support and upscale integrated Strategic Nature Projects benefiting farmers’ communities as provided for in Regulation (EU) 2021/783 of the European Parliament and of the Council (1).

3.2.   Overview of the relevant interventions and conditions for young farmers

This subsection shall provide the elements laid down in Article 109(2), point (b), of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 and, where relevant, an explanation of the CAP contribution in respect of transnational learning mobility of people in the field of agricultural and rural development with a focus on young farmers and women in rural areas, in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2021/817 of the European Parliament and of the Council (2).

3.3.   Overview of relationship between coupled income support and Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (3)

This subsection shall provide the elements laid down in Article 109(2), point (c), of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115.

3.4.   Overview as regards the aim of fairer distribution and more effective and efficient targeting of income support

This subsection shall provide the elements laid down in Article 109(2), point (d), of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115.

3.5.   Overview of the sector-related interventions

This subsection shall provide the elements laid down in Article 109(2), point (e), of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115. In addition, the overview per sector shall include where relevant, complementarity with the elements of conditionality.

3.6.   Overview of the interventions that contribute to ensure a coherent and integrated approach to risk management

This subsection shall explain the combination of interventions, including, where relevant, the option laid down in Article 19 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, intended to contribute to ensure a coherent and integrated approach to risk management.

3.7.   Interplay between national and regional interventions and elements

This subsection shall include:

(a)

where relevant, a description of the interplay between national and regional interventions, including the distribution of financial allocations per intervention and per fund;

(b)

where elements of the CAP Strategic Plan are established at regional level, an explanation on how the intervention strategy ensures the coherence and the consistency of these elements with the elements of the CAP Strategic Plan established at national level.

3.8.   Overview of contribution to the objective of improving animal welfare and combatting antimicrobial resistance, referred to in Article 6(1), point (i), of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115

This subsection shall provide the elements laid down in Article 109(2), point (h), of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115.

3.9.   An explanation of how the interventions and elements common to several interventions contribute to simplification for final beneficiaries and reducing the administrative burden

This explanation shall notably include measures taken in the implementation of the CAP through technology and data that help simplify management and administration of the CAP, and through the simplification of the design of interventions in the CAP Strategic Plan.

4.   Elements common to several interventions

4.1.   Definitions and minimum requirements

This subsection shall include the following:

(a)    agricultural activity

As regards the definition of agricultural production, Member States shall only provide information where they amend the definition compared to Article 4(1), point (c)(i), of Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (4).

As regards the definition of maintenance of agricultural area, such definition shall be provided for all types of agricultural area (arable land, permanent crops and permanent grassland). Where Member States define separate requirements for land laying fallow, this shall be specified;

(b)    agricultural area

Complementary elements of the definition laid down in Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 shall be provided where relevant.

In particular information shall be provided on the following elements, where relevant:

(i)

elements of agroforestry systems when it is established or maintained on the agricultural area, specifying these elements for each type of agricultural area (arable land, permanent crops and permanent grassland);

(ii)

the definition of nurseries;

(iii)

the definition of short rotation coppice, which shall include at least the harvest cycle, the list of species or categories of plants and the planting density;

(iv)

for permanent grassland, a description of each individual element used for its definition, such as tilling, ploughing, reseeding with different types of grasses, or established local practices;

(c)    eligible hectare

Complementary elements of the definition laid down in Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 shall be provided, notably on the following elements, where relevant:

(i)

criteria to establish the predominance of agricultural activity in case the land is also used for non-agricultural activities;

(ii)

criteria to ensure that the land is at the disposal of the farmer;

(iii)

period during which an area has to comply with the definition of ‘eligible hectare’;

(iv)

if areas may be used for agricultural activity only every second year, a justification for such a decision based on environment, biodiversity and climate-related reasons;

(v)

if landscape features not protected under GAEC may be included, a description of these, such as their maximum size and the maximum share of the parcel these landscape features may occupy where applicable;

(vi)

if fixed reduction coefficients are applied to permanent grassland with scattered ineligible features to determine the area considered eligible, a description of principles applied behind the reduction coefficients;

(vii)

where it is decided to maintain the eligibility of previously eligible areas when they no longer meet the definition of ‘eligible hectare’ pursuant to Article 4(4), points (a) and (b), of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 as a result of implementation of national schemes, a description of these national schemes including:

their compliance with the integrated administration and control system (IACS) requirements;

the applicability for the cultivation of products not listed in Annex I to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) by way of paludiculture; and

the contribution to the specific objectives referred to in Article 6(1), points (d), (e) and (f), of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115;

(d)    active farmer

Regarding the definition of active farmer, the following shall be provided:

(i)

criteria to identify those farmers who have a minimum level of agricultural activity;

(ii)

where, as a complementary tool, a negative list of non-agricultural activities is used, its description;

(iii)

where relevant, the amount and the justification for an amount of direct payments (not higher than EUR 5 000) under which farmers are in any event to be considered as ‘active farmers’;

(e)    young farmer

Regarding the definition of young farmer, the following shall be provided:

(i)

the maximum age limit;

(ii)

the conditions for being ‘head of the holding’;

(iii)

the appropriate training and/or skills required;

(f)    new farmer

Regarding the definition of new farmer, the following shall be provided:

(i)

the conditions for being ‘head of the holding’ for the first time;

(ii)

the appropriate training or skills required;

(g)    minimum requirements for receiving direct payments

Regarding the minimum requirements for receiving direct payments, a description and justification of the threshold(s) shall be provided; these thresholds shall be provided, where applicable, in hectares with two decimals and/or, in euros with two decimals;

(h)    rural area

The definition(s) of rural areas and applicability across the CAP Strategic Plan shall be included;

(i)    other definitions for the CAP Strategic Plan

Where other definitions applicable for direct payments, rural development or sectoral support are used throughout the CAP Strategic Plan, these shall be described, including a description of the specific scope of their applicability.

4.2.   Elements related to interventions in the form of direct payments

This subsection shall include:

(a)    territorialisation

Where relevant, a description of each group of territories including the explanation of the similar socioeconomic or agronomic conditions;

(b)    payment entitlements

If applicable, regarding the description of the system of the payment entitlements, and functioning of the reserve, an indication of the first year without entitlements if a phasing out of entitlements is planned;

(c)    system of internal convergence

For each group of territories if relevant, and unless a flat rate is used from the first year, a description of the method of internal convergence, including the following elements:

(i)

target year for the maximum level for the value of payment entitlements and maximum level for the value of individual payment entitlements, as referred to in Article 24(3) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115;

(ii)

convergence steps, as referred to in Article 24(4) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115;

(iii)

where relevant, the flat rate value reached in the target year, as referred to in Article 24(4) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115;

(iv)

target year for the minimum convergence percentage and minimum unit value as percentage of the planned average unit amount for the basic income support for sustainability for the target year, as referred to in Article 24(5) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115;

(v)

financing of convergence, as referred to in Article 24(6) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115;

(vi)

where relevant, a description of the reduction of only a part of the payment entitlements exceeding the average planned unit amount, as referred to in Article 24(6), second subparagraph, of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115;

(vii)

where relevant, the percentage of maximum decrease of the unit value of entitlement, as referred to in Article 24(7) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115.

(d)    functioning of the reserve

For each group of territories if relevant, the functioning of the reserve shall be explained, specifying notably the following elements:

(i)

a description of the system for the establishment of the reserve;

(ii)

a description of the different categories of eligible farmers, their related access to the reserve, the allocation of new payment entitlement or increase of existing payment entitlement value and their priority order;

(iii)

rules on financial replenishment of the reserve;

(iv)

rules on payment entitlements expiration and reversion to reserve;

(e)    rules related to transfers of payment entitlements

Where relevant, rules related to transfers of payment entitlements;

(f)    reduction of direct payments

Where relevant, a description of the reduction of payments and capping, including notably:

(i)

the tranches, the percentages of reduction and their explanation;

(ii)

where relevant, the method for subtracting labour costs;

(iii)

the estimated product of the reduction of direct payments and capping for each year, and its planned allocation;

(g)    application of thresholds or limits at the level of member of legal persons, groups of natural or legal persons or at the level of groups of affiliated entities

The decisions and justifications of thresholds or limits set at the level of members of legal persons or of groups of natural or legal persons, or at the level of group of affiliated legal entities, pursuant to Article 110, point (d)(iii), of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, for all types of interventions where relevant, indicating which interventions are concerned;

(h)    contribution to risk management tools

Where relevant, a description of the planned implementation of Article 19 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, including the decision as regards the percentage of the direct payments to be assigned for it.

4.3.   Technical assistance

This subsection on the description of the use of technical assistance shall include notably:

(a)

its objectives;

(b)

its scope and indicative planning of activities;

(c)

beneficiaries of technical assistance;

(d)

the percentage of the total European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) contribution to the CAP Strategic Plan to be used to finance the actions of technical assistance as a single percentage over the CAP Strategic Plan period, with two decimals.

4.4.   CAP network

This subsection on the description of the CAP network shall notably include:

(a)

a summary overview and the objectives of the national CAP network, including a description of activities to support European Innovation Partnership (EIP) and knowledge flows within the AKIS and the networking of Local Action Groups under LEADER/community-led local development;

(b)

structure, governance and operation of the national CAP network, including whether the network includes any regional-level components; the indicative share of technical assistance funding allocated to the network and indicative budget for the period and the indicative timeline for launch of the national CAP network.

4.5.   Coordination, demarcation and complementarities between EAFRD and other Union Funds active in rural areas

This subsection shall include an overview of the coordination, demarcation and complementarities between EAFRD and other Union funds active in rural areas, including description of the overall consistency of support in rural areas provided by Union Funds, highlighting how their use is optimised and explain the demarcation and coordination mechanisms.

4.6.   Financial instruments

This subsection shall provide a general description of the financial instruments where relevant and the justification for their use, including:

(a)

type of implementation, including the governance;

(b)

potential Fund manager;

(c)

type of financial products offered (loan, guarantee, equity);

(d)

benefits offered by the financial instrument to final recipients;

(e)

territorial coverage, where relevant;

(f)

other technical rules common to all interventions, such as combination aspects.

4.7.   Common elements for interventions for rural development or interventions in certain sectors

This subsection shall include:

(a)

choices as regards the EAFRD contribution rate applicable at national or regional level, depending on the types of regions referred to in Article 91(2) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, and for certain categories of interventions referred to in Article 91(3) of that Regulation;

(b)

general list of ineligible investments, beyond those laid down in Article 73(3) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, where relevant;

(c)

other elements relevant for the implementation of several interventions for rural development or interventions in certain sectors which are not part of the description of interventions, where relevant.

5.   Description of the interventions

This section on the interventions specified in the strategy referred to in Article 111 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, including the interventions established at regional level, shall include the following information:

(a)

identification of the intervention:

(i)

the type of intervention to which the intervention belongs;

(ii)

where applicable, the sector covered;

(iii)

the single output indicator used for the intervention, as well as the units used where relevant;

(iv)

whether the whole intervention fully contributes to the minimum financial allocations referred to in Articles 92, 93 and 95 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115;

(v)

the territorial scope and, where relevant, indication if the intervention is implemented at national, regional level, at national level with regional elements or if it is transnational;

(b)

contribution to the strategy:

(i)

a link with the needs addressed by the intervention, from the list of needs identified in the assessment of needs referred to in subsection 2.1;

(ii)

related specific objective(s) referred to in Article 6(1) and (2) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 with which the intervention has direct and significant links; and where appropriate for interventions in certain sectors, the relevant sectoral objective(s) referred to in Articles 46 and 57 of that Regulation;

(iii)

linked result indicator(s) to which the intervention shall contribute directly and significantly;

(c)

description and eligibility conditions:

(i)

specific design, requirements and eligibility conditions of the intervention, including where applicable:

description of the aim and overall description of the intervention, including specific targeting, principles of selection, links with relevant legislation and other interventions;

description of eligible beneficiaries and eligible area and related eligibility criteria or, when support is provided in the form of financial instruments, general categories of final recipients;

description of commitments or type(s) of operation eligible for support;

description of other obligations for beneficiaries, where relevant;

(ii)

for national interventions with regional elements, specific regional eligibility conditions complementary to the common ones, if planned;

(iii)

where relevant, identification of all relevant baseline elements among GAEC and statutory management requirements (SMRs), and provision of the relevant mandatory national standards. An explanation shall be included of how the commitments to be fulfilled by beneficiaries go beyond the mandatory requirements referred to in Article 31(5), points (b), (c) and (d) and, Articles 70(3) and 72(5) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115;

(d)

financial information:

(i)

for interventions for rural development, the applicable EAFRD contribution rate(s) for the intervention, where relevant for each region;

(ii)

for interventions for rural development and for schemes for the climate, the environment and animal welfare according to Article 31(7), point (b), of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, an indication as to whether the intervention is fully or partly including carried-over expenditure from rural development programmes for the period 2014–2022;

(iii)

for the interventions which contribute to the minimum amount referred to in Article 95 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 and laid down in Annex XII thereto, the part of the financial allocation of the intervention(s) which counts against the amounts referred to in that Annex;

(e)

support to beneficiaries:

(i)

for interventions for rural development not covered by IACS, the form(s) of support (grant or financial instrument);

(ii)

depending on the type of intervention, an indication of:

for schemes for the climate, the environment and animal welfare:

payment additional to the basic income support for sustainability in accordance with Article 31(7), point (a), of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115; or

payment compensating all or part of the additional costs incurred and income foregone as a result of the commitments in accordance with Article 31(7), point (b), of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 and the possible inclusion of transaction costs,

for interventions for rural development not covered by IACS: reimbursement of eligible costs incurred, unit costs, lump-sums or flat-rate financing;

for interventions for rural development covered by IACS: compensations, one off payments, lump-sums, and the possible inclusion of transaction costs;

(iii)

where applicable, the different range of support rates and the range of support in view of the targeting of the intervention;

(iv)

where payments are granted on the basis of additional costs and income foregone, a reference to the certified method for calculating the amounts of support to be provided in an annex to the CAP Strategic Plan, and an indication as to whether full or a partial compensation is granted, where relevant;

(v)

the planned unit amounts, including:

unit amount code and name;

type of unit amount (uniform or average);

where relevant the related contribution rate(s);

where relevant, the result indicator(s) with which the planned unit amount has direct and significant links, out of the result indicators selected for the entire intervention;

where the intervention includes both forms of support, i.e. grants and financial instrument, an indication of the form of support corresponding to this unit amount;

where relevant, an indication if the planned unit amount corresponds to carried over expenditure from a rural development programme in the period 2014–2022;

where territorialisation referred to in Article 22(2) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 is applied, an indication of the group of territories corresponding to this unit amount;

where the output indicator selected for the intervention may represent different units of measurement, an indication of the unit of measurement corresponding to this unit amount;

the annual planned value of this unit amount;

an explanation of the value, including where relevant the variation in terms of maximum and minimum levels. Such explanation is not necessary for uniform unit amounts corresponding to payments granted on the basis of additional costs and income foregone, for which a certified method is provided in accordance with Article 82 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115;

(vi)

a table setting out the annual planned unit amounts and the annual planned outputs, and where relevant the maximum or the minimum planned unit amounts. The planned outputs shall include additional national financing, where relevant. The table shall also contain the annual indicative expected level of payments for the intervention and, where relevant, the break-down for carried-over expenditure or for financial instruments. Where the outputs of an intervention are planned to be paid over several years, in order not to count them several times over the period, the annual planned outputs shall correspond only to number of outputs which are indicatively planned to receive their first payment in that financial year;

(vii)

information regarding State aid assessment, specifying notably if the intervention falls outside the scope of Article 42 of the TFEU, and indicating the type of State aid instrument to be used for the clearance of the aid;

(f)

additional information specific to certain types of intervention:

(i)

in relation to interventions in the form of direct payment:

for the basic income support for sustainability referred to in Title III, Chapter II, Section 2, Subsection 2, of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, specific information and explanation for the payment to small farmers including maximum amount and type of payment (lump sum or per hectare);

for the complementary redistributive income support for sustainability referred to in Article 29 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, specific information and explanation including eligibility, maximum hectare paid, ranges and groups of territory;

for the complementary income support for young farmers referred to in Article 30 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, specific information and explanation of:

conditions applied for the definition of newly setting-up;

type and duration of support;

maximum hectare paid if applied;

information if continuity with previous scheme is applied;

for schemes for the climate, the environment and animal welfare, an indication of the areas of actions referred to in Article 31(4) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 which are covered by the intervention; an indication whether the schemes contribute to compliance with new mandatory requirements for a maximum of 24 months from the date on which they become mandatory for the holding;

for each coupled income support intervention referred to in Title III, Chapter II, Section 3, Subsection 1, of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115:

information related to the interventions for protein crops;

justifications of the sectors targeted, their difficulty(ies), their importance, the aim of the intervention (improve competitiveness, quality or sustainability) and how this aim will address difficulty(ies) and consistency with Directive 2000/60/EC, where applicable, unit of measurement for silkworms and their respective conversion rate to number of ‘heads’;

(ii)

in relation to interventions for rural development:

for interventions referred to in Article 70 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115:

a description of the type of area eligible;

an indication of the type of commitments (result based, management based or hybrid) and the implementation mechanism;

an indication of the duration of the contracts;

an indication whether the intervention contributes to compliance with new mandatory requirements for a maximum of 24 months from the date on which they become mandatory for the holding;

for interventions referred to in Article 71 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, a link to the national list of the designated local administrative units and to the Areas under Natural Constraints (ANC) map (5) for each category of areas referred to in Article 32(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (6);

for interventions referred to in Article 72 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, an indication of the type of area eligible;

for interventions referred to in Article 73 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, the list of ineligible investments related to the scope of the intervention if they are not already listed in subsection 4.7, point (b), and for interventions in the forestry sector, the size of holdings for which the support is conditional on the presentation of the relevant information from a forest management plan or equivalent instrument;

for interventions referred to in Article 74 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, an indication as to whether the investment results in an increase of the irrigated area, and:

for investments in the improvement of existing irrigation installations, what is the potential water saving(s) required expressed in percentage;

for investments in the improvement of existing irrigation installations affecting water bodies whose status is less than good, what is/are the requirement(s) for an effective reduction in water use expressed in percentage;

for interventions referred to in Article 76 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115:

an indication of threshold triggering compensation;

an indication of the methodology for the calculation of losses and triggering factors for compensation;

a description of the particular losses coverage as well as the provisions planned to avoid overcompensation;

for LEADER interventions referred to in Article 77 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115:

a description of the expected added value of the LEADER approach and how its principles are applied;

an indication as to whether support from more than one fund referred to in Article 31(4) of Regulation (EU) 2021/1060 of the European Parliament and of the Council (7) is planned and with which lead fund;

(g)

WTO compliance, including:

(i)

for interventions listed in Annex II to Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, an indication of the paragraph of Annex 2 to the WTO Agreement on Agriculture (Green Box) the conditions of which the intervention is fulfilling;

(ii)

possible option for coupled income support, referred to in Title III, Chapter II, Section 3, Subsection 1, of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115: an indication that the intervention fulfils the conditions provided for in Article 6.5 of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture (Blue Box);

(iii)

an explanation of how the intervention under points (i) or (ii) complies with the criteria of the Green Box or Blue Box;

(iv)

for interventions referred to in Article 11(1) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, as regards the compliance with the EU WTO schedule limits on oilseeds set out in the Memorandum of Understanding between the European Economic Community and the United States of America on oil seeds under GATT (8): an indication whether the intervention targets any of the crop(s) covered by the agreement (i.e. soybean, rapeseed, sunflower seed, excluding confectionary sunflower seed), and if yes, an indication of the planned support area per relevant claim year.

6.   Financial plan

This section shall include the following:

6.1.   Overview table

Member States shall provide the elements laid down in Article 112(2) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115.

Member States that wish to make use of the possibility to transfer allocations between the Funds as provided for in Article 103 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 shall provide this information for each year of the period of the CAP Strategic Plan for which they want to use this flexibility. Member States may review their decision in 2025 concerning their allocations for financial year 2027.

The information provided in the overview table shall allow to check that the necessary allocations to respect the minimum spending requirements provided for in Articles 92, 93, 95, 97 and 98 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 have been properly reserved.

That information shall serve as a basis to calculate the financial ceilings resulting from the deduction of the amounts reserved by Member States to respect the minimum spending requirements set out in Articles 92, 93, 95, 97 and 98 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 (reverse ceilings).

Minimum and maximum amounts referred to in Articles 92 to 98 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 shall be always calculated based on the Member States envelopes referred to in Articles 87, 88 and 89 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 after possible transfers.

However, if Member States decide to allocate funds to InvestEU, LIFE and/or Erasmus, the respective annual amounts shall be provided in the overview table. Annex XI to Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 will not be amended and all obligations for minimum allocations will be checked against amounts in Annex XI to that Regulation, which will not exclude those specific allocations.

Because the minimum financial allocation requirement for young farmers may be met by both the EAGF and the EAFRD, Member States that decide to allocate a higher amount than the minimum set out in Annex XII to Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 shall indicate the amounts to be used, under each of the Funds, to reach the minimum allocation requirement. This shall serve as a basis to calculate the reverse ceilings.

6.2.   Detailed financial information and breakdown per intervention and planning of output

The detailed financial plan referred to in Article 112(3) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 shall provide for an overview of the indicative expected level of payments of Member States’ allocations during the period of implementation of CAP Strategic Plan and information on EAFRD co-financing rates.

7.   Governance systems and coordination systems

7.1.   Identification of governance bodies, managing authority(ies) and other bodies

This subsection shall include:

(a)

for each body type (competent authority(ies), managing authority(ies), paying agency(ies), coordinating body, where relevant, and certification body(ies) an indication of the fund(s) for which they are responsible, as well as the name(s) and contact information of the responsible person(s);

the same information shall be provided for other bodies such as the monitoring committee(s), delegated and intermediate bodies where relevant, as well as the relevant coordinating structures for the AKIS, for the CAP Plan Communication officer, as referred to in Article 48 of Regulation (EU) 2021/1060, and for the CAP network. The role of delegated and intermediate body(ies) shall also be specified;

(b)

a brief description of the set up and organisation of the competent authority;

(c)

when the implementation of financial instruments is delegated to regional authorities, a description of the governance arrangements for the financial instrument operation (delegation of tasks of managing authority and paying agency, such as selection of beneficiary, reporting, payments, control).

7.2.   Description of the monitoring and reporting systems

Brief description of the monitoring and reporting systems established to record, maintain, manage and report the information needed for assessing the performance of the CAP Strategic Plan, including the reporting system put in place for the purposes of the annual performance report under Article 134 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115.

7.3.   Information on the control systems and penalties

(a)    IACS

The information on IACS shall include:

(i)

specifications on the scope, notably whether it is used for the wine sector, as laid down in Article 65 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 and for conditionality;

(ii)

a definition of agricultural parcel, including agricultural land, where relevant;

(iii)

a confirmation of the operation of IACS as from 1 January 2023, and that the requirements set out in Title IV, Chapter II of Regulation (EU) 2021/2116 of the European Parliament and of the Council (9) are fulfilled;

(iv)

information on the system(s) for the identification and registration of animals referred to in Articles 65(4), point (c), and 66(1), point (g), of Regulation (EU) 2021/2116;

(v)

whether an automatic claim system is applied;

(vi)

a description of the control and penalty system(s), explaining notably if the system includes systematic checks which also target areas where the risk of errors is the highest, and how the level of checks ensures an effective management of the risks as referred to in Article 60(1) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2116. On penalties, the information shall explain penalties provided for non-compliances with the eligibility criteria for interventions defined in the CAP Strategic Plan. If different controls and penalty systems are applied for different interventions, information on each of the systems shall be provided.

Additional information may be provided on the identification system for agricultural parcels, on the geo-spatial and animal-based application system and on the area monitoring system where this is considered important by the Member State.

(b)    Control and penalty system for interventions not covered by IACS

For EAGF and EAFRD interventions not covered by IACS, the information shall include:

(i)

a brief description on the penalty system in line with the principles of effectiveness, proportionality and dissuasiveness;

(ii)

a brief description of the control system(s), including specificities for financial instruments, where relevant;

(iii)

a brief explanation as to how the compliance with public procurement rules is fulfilled.

(c)    The control and penalty system for conditionality

This subsection shall include:

(i)

a description of the control system for conditionality;

(ii)

an indication of the types of checks for each SMR and GAEC;

(iii)

a description of the penalty system;

(iv)

the definition and application of the principles of reoccurrence and intentionality;

(v)

an indication of the application of a simplified control system for small farmers;

(vi)

information on the competent control bodies responsible for the checks of conditionality standards and statutory management requirements.

(d)    Social conditionality

This subsection shall include:

(i)

a description of the control system for social conditionality;

(ii)

a description of the penalty system for social conditionality.

Where social conditionality is applied from 2024 or 2025, the description referred to in points (i) and (ii) shall be provided at the latest in the CAP Strategic Plan amendment as approved by the Commission in accordance with Article 119 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 prior to the first year of application of social conditionality.

8.   Modernisation: AKIS and digitalisation

8.1.   Overall organisational set-up of the AKIS

This subsection shall include an explanation of the overall AKIS strategic approach based on the SWOT and assessment of needs outlining how the interventions and actions will work together to contribute to the cross-cutting objective referred to in Article 6(2) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115.

8.2.   Description of how advisory services, research, CAP networks and interventions will work together within the framework of the AKIS

This subsection shall include an explanation of the organisation of the collaboration of advisors, researchers and CAP networks. It shall be indicated if the envisaged actions are combined with other relevant measures or instruments in and outside the scope of the CAP Strategic Plan.

8.3.   Description of the organisation of farm advisors

This subsection shall include an explanation of how the delivery of advice is organised, integrating all advisors and covering all elements referred to in Article 15(2) and (4) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, complying also with the requirements for impartiality laid down in Article 15(3) of that Regulation.

8.4.   Description of how innovation support is provided

This subsection shall include an explanation of how innovation support and knowledge flows within the AKIS are organised.

8.5.   Digitalisation strategy

This subsection shall include an explanation of the strategic approach to boost digitalisation, including a description of the approach how measures under the digitalisation strategy are tailored to avoid or mitigate digital divides between regions, types of businesses and population groups.

9.   Annexes to the CAP Strategic Plan

9.1.   Annex I on the ex-ante evaluation and the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) referred to in Directive 2001/42/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (10)

Annex I to the CAP Strategic Plan referred to in Article 115(1) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 shall contain a summary of ex ante evaluation results and the main recommendations of the ex ante evaluation and the SEA.

According to the elements of the CAP Strategic Plan to be assessed in that ex ante evaluation, the recommendations shall be categorised by:

SWOT analysis, needs assessment;

intervention logic/contribution to objectives;

external/internal coherence;

allocation of budgetary resources;

outputs, results and establishment of milestones and targets;

measures to reduce the administrative burden;

financial instruments;

SEA specific recommendations;

other.

It shall be clearly mentioned how the recommendations have been addressed or a justification of why they have not been taken into account shall be included.

Links to the complete ex ante evaluation and SEA reports shall be provided.

9.2.   Annex II on the SWOT analysis of the current situation of the area covered by the CAP Strategic Plan

Annex II to the CAP Strategic Plan referred to in Article 115(2) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 shall set out in a SWOT analysis the elements laid down in that provision for each objective according to Article 6(1) and (2) of that Regulation. The SWOT analysis shall be articulated by the four key elements: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and shall indicate the sources for the data used other than context indicators.

9.3.   Annex III on consultation with partners

Annex III to the CAP Strategic Plan referred to in Article 115(3) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 shall include the outcomes of the consultation of the partners, and in particular the relevant authorities at regional and local level, and a brief description of how the consultation was carried out.

9.4.   Annex IV on interventions for crop-specific payment for cotton

Annex IV to the CAP Strategic Plan referred to in Article 115(4) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 shall contain the following:

Eligibility conditions to ensure consistency with the SWOT/needs assessment and other interventions, in particular:

objective criteria on the basis of which agricultural land and varieties are authorised for cotton production;

authorised varieties;

minimum plant density and its justification.

text

Complementarity of the crop-specific payment for cotton intervention with the other CAP Strategic Plan interventions.

text

9.5.   Annex V on additional national financing

In Annex V to the CAP Strategic Plan referred to in Article 115(5) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, the following information shall be completed for each intervention in rural development for which additional national financing referred to in Article 115(5), points (a), (b) and (c), and Article 146, first paragraph, of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 is granted:

The Article in Title III, Chapter IV, of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 according to which the financing is granted

text

The national legal basis for granting the financing

text

The intervention in the CAP Strategic Plan for which financing is granted

text

The total budget of financing (in euro)

number

Indication of compliance with the relevant requirements of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115

Y/N

Complementarity:

(a)

a higher number of beneficiaries;

(b)

a higher aid intensity;

(c)

providing financing to certain operations within the intervention.

Indicate those that apply and provide additional information, if relevant.

Covered by Article 42 of the TFEU

Y/N (if NO, indicate the State aid clearance instrument)

In relation to the fruit and vegetables sector, the following information shall be completed for the national financial assistance referred to in Article 53 of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115:

The annual estimated amount of national financial assistance in the fruit and vegetables sector per region concerned and the total for the Member State.

text

9.6.   Annex VI on transitional national aid (where applicable)

Annex VI to the CAP Strategic Plan referred to in Article 115(6) of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 shall include the elements laid down in that provision for each individual transitional national aid per sector, where applicable.

(a)

the annual sector-specific financial envelope for each sector for which transitional national aid is granted;

Sector

The sector-specific financial envelope (in euro)

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

 

To be filled in by Member State

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(b)

where relevant, for each sector, the maximum unit rate of support for each year of the period, respecting the maximum unit rate;

Sector

Unit rate

 

To be filled in by Member State

 

(c)

where relevant, information as regards the reference period modified in accordance with Article 147(2), second subparagraph, of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115;

Sector

Information as regards the reference period modified

 

(d)

a brief description of the complementarity of the transitional national aid with CAP Strategic Plan interventions.


(1)  Regulation (EU) 2021/783 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2021 establishing a Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (LIFE), and repealing Regulation (EU) No 1293/2013 (OJ L 172, 17.5.2021, p. 53).

(2)  Regulation (EU) 2021/817 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2021 establishing Erasmus+: the Union Programme for education and training, youth and sport and repealing Regulation (EU) No 1288/2013 (OJ L 189, 28.5.2021, p. 1).

(3)  Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy (OJ L 327, 22.12.2000, p. 1).

(4)  Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 establishing rules for direct payments to farmers under support schemes within the framework of the common agricultural policy and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 637/2008 and Council Regulation (EC) No 73/2009 (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 608).

(5)  Map of all areas, designated pursuant to Article 32(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013.

(6)  Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 487).

(7)  Regulation (EU) 2021/1060 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 June 2021 laying down common provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund Plus, the Cohesion Fund, the Just Transition Fund and the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund and financial rules for those and for the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, the Internal Security Fund and the Instrument for Financial Support for Border Management and Visa Policy (OJ L 231, 30.6.2021, p. 159).

(8)  OJ L 147, 18.6.1993, p. 26.

(9)  Regulation (EU) 2021/2116 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 2 December 2021 on the financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy and repealing Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 (OJ L 435, 6.12.2021, p. 187).

(10)  Directive 2001/42/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 2001 on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment (OJ L 197, 21.7.2001, p. 30).


ANNEX II

Responsibilities of the Commission and the Member States relating to SFC2021

1.   Responsibilities of the Commission

1.1.

Ensuring the operation of an electronic system for the official and secure exchange of information between the Member State and the Commission, hereinafter referred to as ‘SFC2021’. SFC2021 shall contain at least the information specified in the templates established pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2021/2115.

1.2.

Ensuring the following characteristics of SFC2021:

(a)

interactive forms or forms pre-filled by the system on the basis of the data already recorded in the system previously;

(b)

automatic calculations, where they reduce the encoding effort of users;

(c)

automatic embedded controls to verify internal consistency of transmitted data and consistency of this data with applicable rules;

(d)

system generated alerts warning SFC2021 users that certain actions can or cannot be performed;

(e)

online status tracking of the treatment of information entered into the system;

(f)

availability of historical data in respect of all information entered for a programme;

(g)

availability of a compulsory electronic signature within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council (1) which will be recognised as evidence in legal proceedings.

1.3.

Ensuring an information technology security policy for SFC2021 applicable to the personnel using the system in accordance with relevant Union rules, in particular Commission Decision (EU, Euratom) 2017/46 (2).

1.4.

Designating a person or persons responsible for defining, maintaining and ensuring the correct application of the security policy to SFC2021.

2.   Responsibilities of Member States

2.1.

Ensuring that the programme authorities of the Member State identified in accordance with Title VI of Regulation (EU) 2021/2115 as well as the bodies identified to carry out certain tasks under the responsibility of the managing authority enter into SFC2021 the information for the transmission of which they are responsible and any updates thereto.

2.2.

Ensuring the verification of information submitted by a person other than the person who entered the data for that transmission.

2.3.

Providing arrangements for the separation of the tasks referred to in points 2.1 and 2.2 through the Member State’s management and control information systems connected automatically with SFC2021.

2.4.

Appointing a person or persons responsible for managing access rights to fulfil the following tasks:

(a)

identifying users requesting access, making sure those users are employed by the organisation;

(b)

informing users about their obligations to preserve the security of the system;

(c)

verifying the entitlement of users to the required privilege level in relation to their tasks and their hierarchical position;

(d)

requesting the termination of access rights when those access rights are no longer needed or justified;

(e)

promptly reporting suspicious events that may bring prejudice to the security of the system;

(f)

ensuring the continued accuracy of user identification data by reporting any changes;

(g)

taking the necessary data protection and commercial confidentiality precautions in accordance with Union and national rules;

(h)

informing the Commission of any changes affecting the capacity of the Member State authorities or users of SFC2021 to carry out the responsibilities referred to in point 2.1 or their personal capacity to carry out responsibilities referred to in points (a) to (g).

2.5.

Providing arrangements for the respect of the protection of privacy and of personal data for individuals, and of commercial confidentiality for legal entities in accordance with Directive 2002/58/EC (3), and Regulations (EU) 2016/679 (4) and (EU) 2018/1725 (5) of the European Parliament and of the Council.

2.6.

Adopting national, regional or local information security policies on access to SFC2021 based on a risk assessment applicable to all authorities using SFC2021 and addressing the following aspects:

(a)

the IT security aspects of the work performed by the person or persons responsible for managing the access rights referred to in point 2.4 in case direct use is applied;

(b)

for national, regional or local computer systems connected to SFC2021, through a technical interface as part of the Member State’s management and control information systems as referred to in point 2.3, the security measures for those systems allowing to be aligned with SFC2021 security requirements and covering:

(i)

physical security;

(ii)

data media and access control;

(iii)

storage control;

(iv)

access and password control;

(v)

monitoring;

(vi)

interconnection with SFC2021;

(vii)

communication infrastructure;

(viii)

human resources management prior to employment, during employment and after employment;

(ix)

incident management.

2.7.

Making the document(s) containing the policies referred to in point 2.6 available to the Commission upon request.

2.8.

Appointing a person or persons responsible for maintaining and ensuring the application of the national, regional or local IT security policies and acting as a contact point with the person or persons designated by the Commission and referred to in point 1.4.

3.   Joint responsibilities of the Commission and the Member States

3.1.

Ensuring accessibility either directly through an interactive user-interface (i.e. a web-application) or via a technical interface using pre-defined protocols (i.e. web-services) that allows for automatic synchronisation and transmission of data between Member States information systems and SFC2021.

3.2.

Providing for the date of electronic transmission of the information by the Member State to the Commission and vice-versa in electronic data exchange, which constitutes the date of submission of the document concerned.

3.3.

Ensuring that official data is exchanged through SFC2021, except where force majeure occurs, and that information provided in the electronic forms embedded in SFC2021 (‘structured data’) is not replaced by non-structured data and, in the event of inconsistency, that structured data prevails over non-structured data.

In the event of force majeure, a malfunctioning of SFC2021 or a lack of a connection with SFC2021, the Member State may, with the prior approval of the Commission, send the documents in another form, under the conditions laid down by the Commission. When the cause of the force majeure ceases, the party concerned enters in SFC2021 without delay the information already provided in paper form.

3.4.

Ensuring compliance with the IT security terms and conditions published in the SFC2021 portal and the measures that are implemented in SFC2021 by the Commission to secure the transmission of data, in particular in relation to the use of the technical interface as part of the Member State’s management and control information systems as referred to in point 2.3.

3.5.

Implementing and ensuring the effectiveness of the security measures adopted to protect the data stored and transmitted through SFC2021.

3.6.

Updating and reviewing annually the SFC2021 IT security policy and the relevant national, regional and local IT security policies in the event of technological changes, the identification of new threats or other relevant developments.

(1)  Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market and repealing Directive 1999/93/EC (OJ L 257, 28.8.2014, p. 73).

(2)  Commission Decision (EU, Euratom) 2017/46 of 10 January 2017 on the security of communication and information systems in the European Commission (OJ L 6, 11.1.2017, p. 40).

(3)  Directive 2002/58/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 July 2002 concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector (Directive on privacy and electronic communications) (OJ L 201, 31.7.2002, p. 37).

(4)  Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation) (OJ L 119, 4.5.2016, p. 1).

(5)  Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 and Decision No 1247/2002/EC (OJ L 295, 21.11.2018, p. 39).


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