Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Rural Development: Commission finalises annual funding for Member States for 2007-2013
The European Commission today decided on the annual Rural Development budget for the 25 Member States for the years 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
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
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
natural handicap payments to farmers in mountain areas
NATURA 2000 payments
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
diversification to non agricultural activities
support for the creation of micro enterprises
encouragement of tourism
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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