Brussels, 22 October 2002
Green Light for 2002 SAPARD Programmes
The European Commission today adopted a decision which will allow the signing of the Annual Financing Agreements (AFA's) for 2002 with each of the 10 candidate countries(1), for the implementation of the Special Accession Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (SAPARD). These agreements make the Union's contribution for 2002 available to finance the actions scheduled for 2002 in the SAPARD programmes and adapt the Multi-annual Financing Agreement. The proposal also foresees, inter alia, special provisions for exceptional natural disasters to be included in the agreements. This should enable the EU to respond properly and swiftly to such exceptional natural disasters whenever they occur in candidate countries. "We want to show solidarity and support for the rural community and, in so doing, help make enlargement a real success. Real success will only come, however, when we can improve the lot of the people in the new Member States and have ensured their smooth assimilation into the European family. Therefore, I am delighted that we have the SAPARD programme to provide assistance for rural areas in the candidate countries in advance of accession.", said Commissioner Fischler.
Why was the Commission decision necessary?
As Community legislation is not binding on the 10 candidate countries, the Commission and these countries have to conclude Financing Agreements in order to make available Community funds to the eligible beneficiaries of SAPARD. This Commission Decision authorises the signature of the Annual Financing Agreements for 2002 with each of the candidate countries.
The EU contribution to finance SAPARD programmes in 2002 amount to € 554.5 million (including the transfer of € 9.5 million of technical assistance that were not spent). This amount is allocated (2)between candidate countries as follows:
SAPARD: annual financing agreement table 2002 (in thousands €)
Compared to the 2000 and 2001 agreements, the main changes for the 2002 agreements are:
The Special Pre-Accession Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (SAPARD)(3) aims to support the efforts made by the Central and Eastern European Candidate Countries to prepare for their participation in the Common Agricultural Policy and the Single Market. It has two major objectives: first, to implement the "acquis"; second, to solve priority problems in the field of agriculture and rural development. The Multi-annual Financing Agreement (MAFA) lays down the Union's management and control rules for SAPARD for the whole period of the programme (2000-2006) and includes the principle of full decentralisation of programme management, the application of the EAGGF clearance of accounts procedure and differentiated appropriations. An Annual Financing Agreement (AFA) which sets out the Union's financial commitment to each candidate country must be signed yearly with each of the 10 SAPARD beneficiary countries.
More information on SAPARD can be found at:
(1)Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia
(2)In accordance with the Commission Decision of 20 July 1999 on the indicative allocation of the annual Community financial contribution to pre-accession measures for agriculture and rural development EC No 595/1999.
(3)provided for in Council Regulation EC No. 1268/1999