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Cross compliance assessment tool

Final Report Summary - CCAT (Cross Compliance Assessment Tool)

A tool has been developed, which allows for an integral assessment of compliance with the standards that are part of European Union (EU) cross-compliance policy. The CCAT tool enables integral assessment of the impacts of standards, which are part of cross compliance, for different input data and under different scenario assumptions. Although a baseline and a number of preselected scenarios are defined, the tool is flexible in that it allows the user to make their own choices with respect to a large set of key parameters, among which there are: compliance rates, cost estimates for becoming compliant with sub-obligations of standards per region, per farm type, implementation of cross-compliance measures etc. Impacts, as evaluated by specific indicators, are measured for various impact fields. The effects assessed in the CCAT project relate to agricultural markets, producer's income, land use, soil, water, air, climate, biodiversity and landscapes, as well as animal and public health.

As regards the results, effects of additional compliance (gap-closure between baseline and 100 % compliance) were found to be limited as the best-estimates of baseline compliance are already high (average at 90 % for most cross-compliance standards). However, clear regional differences were found. Another finding was that overall effects of cross-compliance standards (measured as percentage changes in field specific indicators) tend to be larger in economic rather than in environmental and biodiversity terms. Again clear regional diversity is seen. This also applies to the potential effectiveness of cross-compliance standards on biodiversity and landscape but generally it is very positive. Regional variation in the latter occurs due to large differences in implementation at national and regional levels (both for EU legislation and Good agricultural and environmental condictions (GAECs)). This effectiveness is assessed on the basis of the formulated obligations in the regional legislations (legal texts) which have obtained a score. Total effectiveness is then expressed as the average of scores per group of GAEC and or EU legislation obligations.

As to the economic effects, the overall conclusion is that costs for becoming compliant with cross-compliance standards are only partly compensated for by market effects. However, the total costs are limited, especially when concentrating on the costs for additional compliance i.e. the costs that still have to be made between baseline compliance, i.e. the level of compliance when cross-compliance was introduced to reach the 100 % compliance rate. Divergent economic effects occur in crop and animal sectors. In the crops sector the production and prices remain rather constant under influence of cross-compliance standards. In the animal sectors there is a general production decrease and a price increase. This generally leads to small but regionally diverse changes resulting in both intensification and extensification of livestock and land use.

As to the environmental effects, assuming gap closure, in most regions limited declines in agricultural emissions were observed. However, a selection of regions experienced some very limited but negative environmental externalities such as loss in soil carbon in regions in Poland and Southern Portugal, ammonia emission increases in Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and Alpes-Mediterannée. However, these increases are relative and since the baseline situation refers to very small levels a relative change can be rather large.

Specific conclusions as regards to biodiversity and landscape impacts: Intensity changes due to cross-compliance are in general quite small, although its effect on biodiversity will vary depending on regional characteristics such as share of High nature value (HNV) farmland and the assemblage of wild species present in the region.

However, some general trends emerge:
- Livestock intensity: an extensification trend is seen in Scandinavian and Eastern European countries and North Western Iberian Peninsula regions versus intensification in Central European Countries and Mediterranean regions (except Italy).
- Land use intensity: an extensification trend is seen in Mediterranean, Scandinavian and Eastern countries versus intensification in Central European countries.

Specific conclusions as regards to potential effectiveness assessment:
- The method, although an experiment and including both intended and unintended effects of cross-compliance measures, seems useful to explore patterns of potential effectiveness of cross-compliance measures on biodiversity and landscape across the EU.
- In general, positive effects are found, although quite variable in magnitude among EU legislations and GAECs. No negative effects are foreseen.
- Results are now expressed as an average score per region to correct for differences in the number of GAEC and EU legislation measures implemented in every region.
In a next assessment this approach could be further improved by weighting the score according to the share of regional Utilised agricultural area (UAA), of Natura 2000 and the assemblage of wild species present to obtain a more precise assessment.