The European Commission has given the green light to a further six Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) for the 2014-2020 period to provide different forms of support and investment in rural Europe.
Taken together, the RDPs for mainland Finland, mainland Portugal and the German regions of Sachsen and Sachsen-Anhalt (plus the German Rural Network) will see more than 10 billion EUR of public funding invested in rural areas, more than 6 billion EUR of which from the EU budget. (The German National Framework Programme has also been approved as a pre-condition for the 13 German regional schemes).
Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan stated today: "As with the first three schemes that were cleared last week, the main emphasis for most of these programmes will be improving the economic competitiveness and the sustainability of farms and other activities so as to boost growth and jobs and environmental performance in rural areas."
This means that 9 (out of 118) programmes covering 22% of the EU Rural Development budget have now been cleared, with a further 15-20 expected to be adopted in the first Quarter of 2015. The remaining programmes will follow once a technical adjustment to the MFF has been agreed by the budgetary authority.