In this latest Brussels Briefing on Agriculture, AGRA FACTS journalists Rose O’Donovan & Ed Bray provide details of the latest measure tabled by EU Farm Commissioner Phil Hogan to simplify farm policy rules. The plan revises the system of fines for inaccurate subsidy applications, giving farmers opportunities to make changes to avoid unnecessary penalties. The EU would also be more lenient on first-time offenders. As the market crisis continues, the Commission activated private storage aid for pigmeat on January 4 to take surplus stocks off the market. But officials suspended the measure on January 26 as amounts in storage hit 90 000 tonnes. Similar storage schemes for butter and skimmed milk powder have been extended until the end of September. The AGRA FACTS team also provides details of upcoming meetings and conferences during the month of February.