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European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)

The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) supports European policy on rural development. To this end, it finances rural development programmes across the Member States and the regions of the Union. Programmes are designed in cooperation between the European Commission and the Member States, taking into account the strategic guidelines for rural development policy adopted by the Council and the priorities laid down by national strategy plans.

In the 2014-20 programming period, for the first time, the EAFRD is specifically included in the policy framework of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and subject to the Common Provisions Regulation (1303/2013).

For the 2014-20 programming period, the Fund focuses on three main objectives:

• fostering the competitiveness of agriculture

• ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources, and climate action

• achieving a balanced territorial development of rural economies and communities including the creation and maintenance of employment.

Cohesion policy also plays a key role in support of the economic regeneration of rural areas, complementing the actions supported by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.