ADLib Glossary (C)

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The idea of setting conditions for farmers to satisfy in order to qualify for government support (cross-compliance), is seen as an important tool for improving farming standards and protect the environment. Since the Mid-Term review of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was completed in June 2003, the Special Committee for Agriculture has been working on the technical aspects of the legal text, and this includes new arrangements for cross-compliance which result in two main requirements. Farmers receiving CAP direct payments will have to:

  • respect a set of statutory management requirements, and
  • meet good agricultural and environmental conditions.


The legislative basis for cross-compliance is made up of 18 pieces of European legislation that will become applicable over the next three years.

1 January 2005

1 January 2006

1 January 2007

Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition

Although the exact requirements of Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition, are to be defined at a national level, the main issues that have to be considered are:



Soil erosion: Protect soil through appropriate measures.

Minimum soil cover.

Minimum land management reflecting site-specific conditions.

Retain terraces.

Soil organic matter: Maintain soil organic matter through appropriate practices.
  • Standard for crop rotations where applicable.
  • Arable stubble management.
Soil structure: Maintain soil structure through appropriate machinery use.
  • Appropriate machinery use.
Minimum level of maintenance: Ensure a minimum level of maintenance and avoid the deterioration of habitats.
  • Minimum livestock stocking rates and/or appropriate regimes.
  • Protection of permanent pasture.
  • Retention of landscape features.
  • Avoiding the encroachment of unwanted vegetation on agricultural land.

Reference and Further Information

This summary is based on the following source:

  • EU. (2003). EU Cross-compliance Newsletter - Issue 1: September 2003. European Union, Brussels.

In January 2003 the EC began a two year programme of 'Concerted Action on EU Cross-compliance, the aim of which is to provide stakeholders with up to date information and a forum for discussion.

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