Member States will have more flexibility to utilise outstanding EU Rural Development (RD) funds following a change of rules, which enters into force tomorrow (Tuesday).
The new Commission Delegated Regulation allows Member States to transfer up to 5 % of RD funds to a different "Axis" of the foreseen Rural Development Programme, rather than the current 3 % limit.
Moreover Member States will have up to the end of September to notify such changes to the Commission, rather than the end of August.
The move comes in response to requests from Member States which are concerned that funds previously committed under the 2007-2013 Rural Development, but not yet taken up, will be de-committed at the end of this year.
Under this additional flexibility, Member States have the chance to transfer funding from under-performing measures, where funds are not fully utilized, to the priorities where additional funds are needed.
First adopted by the Commission at the start of June, this Delegated Regulation has now been published in the Official Journal following the 2-month scrutiny period for comments by the Council and the European Parliament.
Speaking today, Phil Hogan, the European Commissioner responsible for Agriculture & Rural Development said: "Today's decision provides extra flexibility to help Member States make the most of the EU funding available."