Brussels, 20 July 1999
Allocation of Agriculture and Rural Development assistance for pre-accession countries.
The European Commission adopted a decision on the allocation of the funds made available for pre-accession assistance for agriculture and rural development in the applicant countries of central and eastern Europe in the pre-accession period in accordance with Council Regulation of 21 June 1999 (SAPARD). The Regulation provides for an allocation based on the following objective criteria: farming population, agricultural area, gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in purchasing power and the specific territorial situation. With the adoption of the Financial Perspective for 2000-2006 the European Council in Berlin decided to allocate a maximum annual amount of 520 million euro (constant 1999 prices) for the seven-year period.
This Decision marks an important step towards the implementation of the Pre-accession strategy outlined in the Agenda 2000 and laid down in the Accession Partnerships with the applicant countries. The indicative amounts (expressed in 1999 prices) available for each of the beneficiary countries are set up in the following table:
Indicative allocation by beneficiary country of the maximum annual amount in euro, at 1999 prices, of the European Union (EU) financial contribution
The Commission's Decision on the allocation of the Funds will allow the applicant countries concerned to prepare the plan for support for agriculture and rural development, required by the SAPARD Regulation. On the basis of these plans the Commission shall approve a Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development for each of these countries which has as a main objective to assist the applicant countries in preparing their agricultural sectors for the full participation in the Common Agricultural Policy and the internal market.
Commenting on today's decision Mr FISCHLER said that the pre-accession countries face many difficulties in preparing for EU accession. It is imperative that the authorities of these countries ensure that these funds are spent in the most productive way possible to help their agricultural sectors adjust to the economic environment they will face after accession.