Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Rural Development: Commission finalises annual funding for Member States for 2007-2013
This follows the decision of the European Council in December 2005 on the Financial Perspectives. The amount of money to be received by each Member State has been decided based on the following criteria: a) some amounts are reserved for certain regions under the Convergence Objective; b) the historical share for each Member State of the EAGGF Guarantee envelope for Rural Development and Leader+ and c) particular situations and needs based on objective criteria (the European Council allocated specific amounts to eight Member States). The decision will be amended once Romania and Bulgaria become members of the EU. Additional money is available for these two countries. Main features of the new rural development policy: One funding and programming instrument, the European Agriculture Rural Development Fund (EARDF) A new strategic approach for rural development with clear focus on EU priorities Reinforced control, evaluation and reporting and a clearer division of responsibilities between Member States and Commission. A strengthened bottom-up approach. Member States, regions and local action groups will have more say in attuning programmes to local needs The four main objectives: Axis 1: Improving competitiveness of farming and forestry Examples: Fostering human capital by providing training and advice to farmers and foresters improving and developing infrastructure related to the development and adaptation of agriculture and forestry supporting farmers who participate in food quality schemes setting up of young farmers support for semi-subsistence farmers in new Member States to become competitive backing innovation A minimum of 10% of the Community contribution has to be spent on Axis 1. The EU co-financing rate is maximum 50% (75% in convergence regions). Axis 2: Environment and countryside Examples: natural handicap payments to farmers in mountain areas NATURA 2000 payments agri-environment measures payments for improving animal welfare measures for sustainable forestry A minimum of 25% of the Community contribution has to be spent on Axis 2. The EU co-financing rate is maximum 55% (80% in convergence regions). Axis 3: Improving quality of life and diversification of the rural economy Examples: diversification to non agricultural activities support for the creation of micro enterprises encouragement of tourism village renewal basic services such as providing childcare facilities to help women re-enter the employment market A minimum of 10% of the Community contribution has to be spent on Axis 3. The EU co-financing rate is maximum 50% (75% in convergence regions). Axis 4: the LEADER approach Each programme must have a LEADER element for the implementation of bottom-up local development strategies of local action groups. A minimum of 5% of the Community contribution is reserved for LEADER (2.5% for the new Member States). Note: €69.75 billion (in 2004 prices) were allocated for Rural Development for the period 2007-2013 in the Interinstitutional Agreement (including Bulgaria and Romania). The table above is for EU-25 and includes the money transferred from direct aid to farmers to Rural Development under so-called “Modulation” and other agreed transfers (cotton and tobacco).
Source : European Commission
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