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MEMO/07/209

Brussels, 23 May 2007

CZECH REPUBLIC - Rural Development plan

Country profile:

  • Agriculture: 54% of Czech Republic is agricultural land, less favoured areas constitute a half of it.
  • Agricultural employment 3.8%, GDP 3.1%
  • Scattered land ownership, need for investments, age structure, low degree of product finalization
  • Environment: soil degradation, water erosion, afforestation
  • Rural Areas: need for stabilizing the available resource base, renewable energy sources

Chosen strategy corresponding to the profile:

  • Focus on investments in technologies, knowledge transfer, reparcelling, biodiversity, mitigation of climate change, stabilisation of rural areas, job creation, micro-enterprises, cultural heritage and rural tourism
  • Good experience from SAPARD and 2004-2006 programming period
  • Positive opinions of ex-ante and strategic environmental assessment.

A financial aid of € 3 615 million of which € 2 815 million is EU financed (78 %) for the Czech Republic has been allocated to the Czech Republic's Rural Development Programmes for the period 2007-2013

 Axis
Total public
(in € million)
% of EAFRD
contribution
EAFRD
(in € million)
Share %
Axis I
840 ,
75.00
630
22.39
Axis II
1 945
79.88
1 554
55.20
Axis III
635
75.00
477
16.93
LEADER
175
80.00
140
5.00
TA**
18
75.00
13
0.48
Total
3 615
77.87
2 815
100

* EAFRD: European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
** TA stands for technical assistance for the implementation of the programmes.

Aims:

The Rural Development plan of the Czech Republic aims

To base the development of the Czech Republic’s rural areas on upholding the principles of sustainable development, a systematic improvement of the environment, care for the landscape and nature and reducing the negative effects of intensive agricultural and forestry management.

Create the conditions for the Czech Republic to be competitive in the basic agricultural and food commodities prioritising products with quality labelling, increase the proportion of production that can be sold on foreign markets and increase GDP per capita and the rural population revenues.

Expand and diversify the economic activities in the Czech Republic’s rural areas so as to lead to development of business, the creation of new jobs, economic growth and reducing the level of unemployment in the countryside. Strengthen the cohsion of the rural population and to stabilise its social structure.

Concerning the three axes the main priorities of Axis 1 of which the contribution of the EAFRD will be € 630 million (22%) are to create a strong agri-food industry and dynamic agri-food environment, to modernise agricultural holdings and to introduce innovations. Further the funds should be used to increase the quality of products, to extend training and advisory services and to reduce the average age of workers in agriculture.

The main focus of Axis 2 of which the contribution to the EAFRD will be € 1 554 million (55%) is the protection of the quality of surface and ground water sources through measures focusing on erosion control and suitable use of agricultural land and promotion of:

  • environmentally friendly farming methods leading to biodiversity
  • suitable farming systems to preserve rural landscape
  • the protection of the environment on agricultural land and in forest areas of high nature value and
  • the use of renewable energy sources through the existing forestry potential and through the possibilities of its expansion and preservation of forest’s positive functions.

Referring to Axis 3 budget allocation of the EAFRD corresponds to € 477 million (17%). The programme aims to create employment opportunities and provide for higher incomes of rural population through the development and diversification of activities in rural areas and promotion of rural tourism, to provide for fulfilment of the Czech Republic's commitments in the area of use of renewable energy sources. Further conditions for growth in rural development areas should be created. The aims are to improve the facilities and appearance of villages and public areas and to strengthen the population’s sense of identity with local environment and rural heritage.

Axis 3 should provide for the development of rural infrastructure with the objective to encourage the development of small and medium-sized enterprises and to improve the village environment and contribute to a higher level of education and employment of rural population through the development of advisory services and training. The use of information and communication technologies should be increased.

The LEADER budget allocation of the EAFRD will be € 140 million (5%) and it will be implemented in all three axes.

See also:

http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/rurdev/index_en.htm

http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/fischer-boel


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