General country description
A. First pillar: implementation of CAP reforms (2003)
B. Second pillar: implementation of RDP measures during 2007-2013
C. Vision for the CAP beyond 2013: a short overview of the debate (at Member State level) on future CAP reform
D. Literature, sources, references
The comparative analysis provides a compact overview of CAP implementation across all 27 Member States and their visions of the future of the CAP

General country discription

Comparison with EU-25

Population, 2005 (*1,000,000): 4.1

0.9% of population in EU-25

Population density, 2003 (inh./km2): 58

118 in EU-25

GDP/capita, 2005 (PPS): 32,299

138% of GDP/capita in EU-25

Share agriculture in total employment, 2002 (%): 7

5% in EU-25

Share Utilized Agricultural Area in total land area, 2003 (%): 653

46% in EU-25 in 1998

Average farm size, 2005 (ha): 33

19 in EU-15

Number of farms, 2005 (*1000): 125.5

1.9% of farms in EU-25

Source: own calculations based on Eurostat

Distribution of farming types, 2005 (% of total)

Source: own calculations based on Eurostat

EU funding for the Single Payment Scheme (SPS)
and the second pillar, 2007-2013

Funding according to CAP budget including Bulgaria and Romania.
Sources: Agra Europe (2007); CEU (2006); EC (2007a)


A. First pillar: implementation CAP reform (2003)

A.1 Single Payment Scheme


SFP historical (EC, 2007b)

Coupling measures

Complete decoupling, dairy premium in 2005.

Reason for selection

No information

A.2 EU budget for Single Payment Scheme (SPS) per year (National ceiling) 2005-2013

Source: 2005: EC (2006); 2006-2013: CEU (2006) and Agra Europe (2007)

Share of the farms that receive SPS of the total number of farms (% of total)

No information

Tradability of SPS

No information

A.3 Cross-compliance: Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAEC)

(Source: IEEP, 2005,)

Selected standards of the GAEC

Comment (IEEP)


Soil erosion

minimum soil cover

ensure soil is covered; animal management outdoors must prevent severe poaching or overgrazing, especially on hill sides and sand dunes; if on common land the Commonage Framework Plan is valid.


minimum land management reflecting site-specific conditions

keep in readily utilisable condition by appropriate grazing and/or cutting management except if nationally required for environmental protection.


retain terraces



EXTRA: assess real and potential risk to soil erosion


soil organic matter

standards for crop rotation where applicable

use of appropriate cropping rotations or practices where necesarry

arable stubble management

current practices (ploughing in) are adequate

soil structure

appropriate machinery use

not on land with surface water of saturated soil

protection of permanent pastures


corrections depending on degree of decrease (5 or 10%)

minimum level of maintenance

minimum livestock stocking rates or/and appropriate regimes

in LFA max of 0.15 LU/ha. If undergrazing is a fact, various options are available (e.g. increase stocking rate, harvest hay or silage )


retention of landscape features

if protected under national or EU legislation; vegetation in compliance with the Wildlife acts (1976 and 2000) and habitats under national or EU legislation


avoiding the encroachment of unwanted vegetation on agricultural land

prevent establishment of invasive species or noxious weeds that ensure land can be used for agricultural purpose


Ireland pays attention to all issues of GAEC and has elaborated standards. Attention is paid that land remains in readily utilisable agricultural condition.

Reason for selection of cross compliance standards

No information.

A.4 Further reform of market regulations

No information

B. Second pillar: implementation of RDP measures 2007-2013

B.1 Programme level and approval

There is one national RDP for Ireland. The Rural Development Committee (consisting of representatives of the 27 Member States) has approved the RDP for Ireland on 25 July 2007.

B.2 Distribution of public budget over the axes (%) 1)

axis 1: competitiveness

axis 2: environment and land management

axis 3: rural economy

Axis 4: Leader





1) Figures excluding Technical Assistance; Axis 3 measures are to be implemented using the Leader (axis 4) approach
Source: own calculations based on Department of Agriculture and Food (2007)

B.3 Integration of Leader in axes 1, 2 and 3

Leader contributes to Axis 3; Axis 3 and Leader are jointly implemented.

B.4 Local Action Groups (LAGs)

It is intended to create 35 territorial LAGs and 3 representative organisations (in the period 2000-2006 there were 22 LAGs).

B.5 RDP budget 2007-2013 (million euros)

total public budget

% co-financing EAFRD1)

EAFRD budget

Contribution private sector

Total costs

National top-ups







1) % of co-financing may vary per axis
Source: Department of Agriculture and Food (2007)

B.6 Less Favoured Areas

In 2005 Ireland had designed 1.1 million ha as Less Severely Handicapped and Coastal Areas, 4.1 million ha as More Severely Handicapped Areas and 27,000 ha as Mountain Type Grazings. This differs from other data on 2005, when total LFA in Ireland was 2,331,000 ha (48% of UAA) (CEU, 2005).

B.7 Drivers of RDP strategy

The RDP 2007-2013 for Ireland is written in accordance with and complementary to the National Spatial Strategy (NSS).


C. Vision on the CAP beyond 2013

No information

D. Literature, sources, references

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