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Direct Payments

Providing assistance to farmers in the framework of the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS) of the CAP


The Direct Payments provided to producers in the framework of the 1stPillar of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are a decisive factor for the sustainability of the primary sector. They provide a safety net for agricultural income that addresses the high risks caused by the uncertainty of climatic conditions and market instability, while at the same time offsetting the primary sector’s low incomes in comparison to other sectors of the economy.

The CAP budget share available to Greek producers in the form of Direct Payments for the 2014-2020 programming period amounts to a total of about 14.9 billion Euros.

In order to ensure the legality of the direct payments made to producers, the CAP relies on the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS), which checks the accuracy of the data provided by producers as regards their land and livestock when submitting their Single Aid Application (SAA), providing for administrative and on-site audits and imposing reductions and penalties where necessary.

‘Assisting farmers in filling out and submitting the Single Aid Application (SAA) to the IACS’, is undoubtedly one of the most important projects carried out on an annual basis in Greece, as it enables direct payments of 2 billion Euros per year to be made to the approximately 650,000 Greek beneficiaries, along with payments that concern 40% of the Rural Development Programme payments (2ndPillar of the CAP). Furthermore, Public Administration depends on the SAA for the implementation of a series of regulatory obligations, e.g. insuring plant and livestock production within the Hellenic Agricultural Insurance Organisation (EL.G.A.), the issuance of street market licenses, etc.

GAIA EPICHEIREIN has been certified as a Coordinating & Technical Support Body for Application Submission Centres (ASC) around the country for the 2014-2020 period, acting as the operational and technological enabler for the unhindered and successful operation of the current facilitation framework for Greek producers-beneficiaries of CAP direct payments.

This project has high technical, operational, and regulatory demands, which:

  • require the combined use of cutting-edge technology,
  • require the existence of extensive and fully coordinated operational infrastructure on a national level,
  • are governed by a complicated and constantly changing regulatory framework,
  • are implemented within a strict framework monitored and controlled by the European Union (EU).

Our role with regard to the national IACS during the 2014-2020 period was key, as it decisively contributed to the significant enhancement of Greece’s efficiency, as regards the management, control, and absorption of agricultural subsidies, more than 99.5% of which are paid out, without any fines or penalties being imposed on producers or the country.

In view of the future CAP to be implemented in 2023, we continue to steadily work in the direction of further modernising and simplifying the IACS for the benefit of the producers and Public Administration, while also actively monitoring and participating in the relevant discussions and developments at EU level. In the meantime, we are continuously investing in the development of new technologies and tools. Our innovative proposals regarding the use of new technologies, such as preventive crop checks in the period when the applications are being submitted by producers, have been awarded and adopted at EU level.

The IACS project in numbers

  • More than 650,000 producers-beneficiaries of direct payments submit the Single Aid Application (SAA) within the 1st Pillar of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) each year
  • More than 2 billion Euros in direct payments are distributed to Greek producers on an annual basis
  • The percentage of direct payments successfully made in Greece in recent years has risen to 99.5%

GAIA EPICHEIREIN as a Coordinating Body

  • Provides operational & technical support to 578 active Application Submission Centres (ASC) all over Greece
  • Answers over 2500 telephone calls and over 1500 e-mails during peak months
  • Has held dozens of training and information sessions around Greece since 2014, on correctly filling out the SAA and on the implementation progress of the CAP.

The contribution of GAIA EPICHEIREIN to the IACS


Cloud infrastructure, online submission of all applications, IACS application submission from remote villages in Greece through the use of a simple internet connection and a computer, simultaneous use by more than 4.000 users during peak periods


In the recent European Commission report[1] Analysis of the administrative burden resulting from the Common Agricultural Policy’, Greek farmers stated that they are more satisfied from the interaction with the system than those of other countries[2]. All of the report’s qualitative data confirm in the most emphatic way the progress achieved by IACS in Greece in recent years, by reducing the additional administrative burden in Greece mainly through the modernisation of the IACS support systems, which save time and money both for public administration and farmers.


Development of specialised software for the implementation of cross-checks


Project cost reduction, electronic invoicing


Dozens of training and remote training sessions, systematic provision of know-how/solutions, effective management of the COVID-19 healthcare crisis

[1] ] EU report https://ec.europa.eu/info/food-farming-fisheries/key-policies/common-agricultural-policy/cmef/regulation-and-simplification/analysis-administrative-burden-arising-common-agricultural-policy_en

[2] GAIA EPICHEIREIN analysis https://www.ypaithros.gr/eksygxronismos-osde-kleidi-nea-kap/