Brussels, 24 November 2009
Rural development: latest approvals of proposals for using funding from CAP Health Check and European Economic Recovery Plan
The Rural Development Committee approved a second wave of proposals from Member States/regions for using EU Recovery Plan and CAP Health Check funding for addressing through rural development policy crucial issues such as fast EU recovery from the economic crisis and climate change. This saw almost half of the rural development programmes being already modified and ready to support and/or re-enforce investments in broadband, climate change, renewable energies and dairy restructuring. The decisions taken so far will put about € 1.6 billion of fresh EU money into the rural development budget of more than € 90 billion for the period 2007 - 2013. The remaining additional budget is to be programmed in the following months.
"The current economic and environmental situation demands action – in the countryside just as much as in our towns and cities," said Mariann Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development. "We have been taking determined action at European level in many ways. The CAP Health Check and the European Economic Recovery Plan have both put new money on the table to help deal with pressing problems such as restructuring the dairy sector and fighting climate change. It’s up to Member States and regions to use this money wisely.”
Distribution of funds across priority areas
Following a first wave of decisions in October (see IP/09/1568 ), the second wave covers another 36 rural development programmes (9 national and 27 regional) by 14 Member States and raises the additional budget injected into rural development to some € 1.6 billion. These funds will be supported additionally by almost the same amount of national and private spending, which will further increase the impact of the EU action.
Bio-diversity, water management, dairy restructuring and climate change account for almost 83% of the funds injected in October and November (figure 1 and annex 2), with bio-diversity having more than a quarter of the total budget. Some 3.5% is devoted to renewable energies, while 1.2% will go to specific innovative co-operation projects.
Developing broadband infrastructure remains a priority and 14 more rural development programmes (5 national and 9 regional) open the door for ensuring a full EU broadband coverage. The additional budget approved for broadband has now reached € 153 million.
Options for spending the money
The CAP Health Check is providing an extra € 3.4 billion for Member States/regions to spend through their RDPs in the period 2009-2013 on any or all of the following priorities 1 :
The EERP is giving an extra € 1.0 billion to be spent in the same period on broadband in rural areas and any/all of the above priorities 2 . Investments in broadband in rural areas, which aim at boosting economic competitiveness and social e-inclusion, will cover the following three possibilities:
The main measures in rural development through which the CAP Health-Check and EERP will address all these priorities are listed in annex 1 (table 1).
The distribution of funds across priority areas could be seen in annex 2.
Monitoring the impact of the spending
Member States/regions report annually on all spending under RDPs, along with its impact. As of 2010 this will also cover the additional funds injected into existing RDPs as a consequence of the CAP Health Check and the EERP.
Approvals of amendments to other Member States’/regions’ RDPs
The remaining rural development programmes must also be modified in order to make the additional funds from the CAP Health Check and the EERP available to all Member States and regions in 2009.
Therefore, the approvals of these remaining modifications are expected to take place in subsequent meetings of the Rural Development Committee in December 2009.
Information on the Rural Development Programmes from the Member States available at: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/rurdev/countries/index_en.htm
Figure 1. Overall distribution of CAP Health-Check and EERP funds across priorities based on the approved in October and November rural development programmes’ modifications, %,
Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED
Table 1. Main measures selected by Member States and regions for addressing CAP Health-Check and EERP priorities
Table 2. Distribution of Health-Check and Recovery funds across the priority area following the November approvals of rural development programmes’ modifications
Note: This table presents the overall distribution of the funds from the Health-Check of the CAP and the EERP taken together. Funds for broadband could only be spent under the EERP. Funds coming from the Health-Check of the CAP could only be spent for new challenges. Empty cells equal zero. The numbers are rounded to the first figure after the decimal.
Council Regulation (EC) No 74/2009 of 19 January 2009
Council Regulation (EC) No 473/2009 of 25 May 2009