The first calls for promotion campaigns for EU agricultural products under new EU promotion rules have been opened by the Commission today.
Under the new policy, applicable since 1 December 2015, EU funds are available to co-finance multi-annual projects aimed at finding new markets and promoting EU agricultural products not only within the EU, but also on third country markets – with different rates of co-funding applicable. Some €111 million is available for promotion under the EU budget in 2016.
Speaking today, EU Commissioner Phil Hogan, responsible for Agriculture & Rural Development, said: "I am pleased to confirm that the first calls for proposals under the new promotion rules has been launched. I recall that this year's programmes include €30 million which is ring-fenced for the troubled milk and pigmeat sectors. Europe's agri-food produce is second to none in the global marketplace. With a budget of €111 million this year, and a simpler application system, I am optimistic that these measures can boost our exports and thereby create jobs and growth in rural areas across Europe. As a further push to promote EU agricultural products, I shall myself be making a series of visits to third countries. Next week I am travelling to Columbia and Mexico accompanied by a delegation of European producers."
Following on from the Commission's annual work programme commitment to promote European agricultural products, the calls for proposals set out the details of the objectives, criteria, financial provisions, timetable and procedure for the submission of proposals.
Today's publication opens two options:
For "simple" programmes (from one or more organisation in the same Member State), the call details the priorities of the Commission for promotion campaigns in the internal and external markets. For external markets, it notably targets a selected list of third countries where there is the highest potential for growth. In order to react to the difficult situation faced by the dairy and pig sectors, the Commission has also earmarked an amount of €30 million for promotion campaigns on dairy and pig meat.
The 2016 call for "multi" programmes (from organisations in more than one Member State or one or more European organisation) only comprises one priority, namely multi programmes in the internal market or in third countries, due to the fact that for 2016, the budget for multi programme is €14 million. The amount allocated for multi programmes will increase significantly in the coming years as envisaged in the reform: from around €50 million in 2017 to around €100 million as from 2019.
Applications should be submitted to the Commission (rather than the Member State authorities) by 28 April 2016. The application should be submitted directly to the Commission via the new dedicated electronic portal. The Commission will then evaluate the applications and decide in autumn which projects to accept.
In the context of the new rules, the European Commission is organising an Information Day on 26 February 2016 in order to present the 2016 calls for proposals, which is open to all potential beneficiaries, advertising agencies as potential implementing bodies and Member States. The Info day will notably focus on the presentation of the new online submission and provide guidance on the preparation of proposals. During that day participants will also have the opportunity to network and find project partners. More details on the agenda and registration will be available soon on the Europa Agriculture and Chafea websites.
With the common denominator 'Enjoy, it's from Europe', the new promotion policy has been in place since 1 December 2015. It is aimed at helping the sector's professionals break into or consolidate international markets and making European consumers more aware of the efforts made by European farmers. To achieve this goal, the Commission will make more resources available, increasing the EU budget contribution from €61 million in 2013 to €200 million in 2019 available for the funding of promotion programmes; it will increase the EU co-financing rate from 50% to 70-80% and will cut red tape for the approval of projects.