Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Twentieth Report


APPENDIX II

Memorandum by the Welsh Office

LAND IN CARE SCHEME (TIR GOFAL) (WALES) REGULATIONS 1999 (S.I. 1999/1176)

 The Joint Committee has requested a memorandum on the following points arising on these Regulations -

    (1)    Identify the provision of these Regulations which gives effect to the prohibition contained in Article 5(2) of Council Regulation No. 2078/92 that "no aid may be granted.... in respect of areas subject to the Community set-aside scheme which are being used for the production of non-food products". If there is no such provision, explain how it is intended to give effect to that prohibition.

  1. There is no provision in the Regulations expressly giving effect to Article 5(2) of Council Regulation No. 2078/92 ("the EC Regulation").

  2. The Department took the view that as well as being directly applicable a provision in the EC Regulation which was clear and unconditional could have, in respect of any agri-environment scheme implementing a zonal programme, direct effect. The obligation not to pay aid in respect of set aside land, as expressed in Article 5(2) of the EC Regulation, is clear, unconditional and does not confer any discretion on the Member State. It was therefore considered unnecessary to repeat the prohibition in the national legislation.

  3. The Department and the Countryside Council for Wales being mindful of the Article 5(2) prohibition informed the European Commission before the making of these Regulations that no aid would be paid for set aside land. Under the rules of the Tir Gofal Scheme no set aside land will be accepted by the Countryside Council for Wales as being subject to a Tir Gofal agreement. The explanatory literature relating to that Scheme and issued to farmers by the Countryside Council for Wales makes that clear.

    (2)    Identify the provision of the Regulations which implements Article 4(1) of the Council Regulation which requires that recipients of aid give the requisite undertakings for a minimum period of 5 years. If there is no such provision, explain how it is intended to give effect to that requirement.

  4. There is no express provision in these Regulations which requires that recipients of aid must give the requisite undertakings for a minimum period of 5 years. For the reasons set out in the reply to point (1) above, however, the Department considered that it was unnecessary to repeat the requirement set out in Article 4(1) of the EC Regulation. That requirement is clear and unconditional.

  5. It will be a rule of the Tir Gofal Scheme that any agreement/undertaking will be for a period of at least 5 years and the explanatory literature relating to that Scheme and issued to farmers by the Countryside Council for Wales makes that clear.

17th May 1999


 
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