The European Commission approved the Rural Development Programme (RDP) of Wallonia (Belgium) for an amount of € 650 million in public funds available for the period 2014-2020, including € 264 million from the budget of the European Union.
The Walloon programme attaches great importance to issues related to the environment and ecosystems.
A component related to competitiveness and innovation with, among others, support for young farmers, is also included.
This week's adoption of the RDP for Wallonia, closely following that of Lombardia (Italy) and Cantabria (Spain), brings the total number of RDPs approved so far to 59 out of 118.
The Commission has now adopted half the programmes, covering almost two thirds of the funding (€ 63.8 billion/64.1%).
The approval of the Walloon programme completes the process in 20 Member States.
Commissioner Phil Hogan, commenting the Walloon programme's adoption, said:
"I am pleased to announce the approval of this 59th RDP, which marks the milestone of half of all programmes adopted. I welcome the emphasis that Wallonia is giving to helping farmers to protect the environment and combat climate change. This is due recognition of the effort and costs that farmers devote to ensuring the sustainability of our countryside and our planet. With the additional targets of helping almost 40% of farms to improve their competitiveness, and creating jobs in the wider rural economy, I am confident that the new RDP will enable rural Wallonia to prosper, fulfilling the objectives of the EU's rural development policy."