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Abstract

In 2014, Landcare Germany (Deutscher Verband für Landschaftspflege – DVL) developed a model that aims to make agricultural payments more environmentally oriented (Neumann and Dierking, 2014). This model operates under the name "Gemeinwohlprämie" (“public good bonus”) and has been continuously developed since then. The "Gemeinwohlprämie" is based on a multi-level point system. Through the implementation of certain environmental measures (e.g. flowering areas or the renunciation of chemical pesticides), the farm can generate payments per ha of farm area. Based on a preliminary set of measures, in autumn 2018 we conducted a structured survey with various agricultural administrations of the federal states in Germany. The central question was whether and with what effort the parameters can actually be depicted via the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS), as this is a necessary condition for the applicability of the method. We found that IACS can primarily cover those parameters of the "Gemeinwohlprämie" which are already required for the application of 1st pillar payments. In order to be able to map the parame-ters of the "Gemeinwohlprämie", the administration has to overcome some challenges that are not specific to the "Gemeinwohlprämie". For example, according to the information provided by individual federal states, in some cases the specification of areas (agricultural land parcels) with special funding options (e.g. for organic soils) have not been adapted and transferred to the IACS system. Likewise, a uniform nationwide procedure for "border demarcation" of areas with homogeneous funding intensity and funding options will pose challenges for the administration. If one orients oneself, for example, on the unit of a municipality, this administrative concept is based on very different area sizes depending on the federal state. The "Gemeinwohlprämie" will lead to environmental added value in particular if the loss of effectiveness through the self-selection of the recipients of subsidies is as small as possible. Against this background, individual parameters of the "Gemeinwohlprämie" should be sharpened. Since the measures offered are voluntary, they are generally only implemented if the amount of funding at least compensates for the economic loss associated with implementing the measure. Against this background, only certain measures are suitable for implementation under voluntary instruments. This is especially true if the support measure can only be implemented with a high administrative effort. If this is not possible, major deadweight effects are to be expected, which burden the budget but do not contribute significantly to an improved environmental situation. Not every challenge that the "Gemeinwohlprämie" has to overcome in the administrative system is causally related to it. Often these challenges are already present in the existing system.

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