The CoR urges the Parliament to support the role of the
regional authorities in the preparation and the
management of the future CAP
On Thursday afternoon, members of the CoR
commission for Natural resources and their
counterparts from the Parliament’s Agriculture
committee discussed ways to boost recovery in
Europe's rural areas and to enable regions to
continue to play their role in the preparation and
management of future Common Agricultural Policy.
MEPs and local leaders agreed that the EU’s future
rural development policy must be more ambitious and
contain a concrete policy framework that will be
monitored and evaluated.
The AGRI Committee and NAT commission of the European
Committee of the Regions held a joint meeting on the 4
February to discuss the long-term vision of rural
development policy. Both institutions are acutely
concerned about the significant decrease in the
European budget dedicated to rural development.
(SE/Renew Europe), Member of
Kungsbacka Municipal Council and Chair
of the Commission for Natural Resources (NAT) of the
European Committee of the Regions, commented: "
Despite the additional, hard-won EUR 7.5 billion
from the recovery plan for rural development, the
overall budget for rural development will fall by
almost 8% compared to the 2014-2020 programming
period. It will therefore be necessary to do more
with less. As a result, we need to maximise the
efficiency of these limited budgetary resources by
getting the regions closely involved. If European
policies are not based on the regions, if they do
not grant these areas sufficient resources to
develop their own policies and experiments, then we
will not achieve the results that we expect."
, (DE/EPP), chair of the European Parliament’s
confirmed that the Parliament will engage in trialogues
to have the CoR's and the Parliaments's common
positions included in the new CAP regulations.
Cllr Enda Stenson
(IE/EA), Member of Leitrim County Council and
rapporteur of the
EU Strategy for Rural Agenda
"Rural stakeholders no longer want useless
declarations: they want real changes. It is time
for the Commission to take responsibility: drawing
up an operational action plan is essential to
ensuring that the long-term vision for rural areas
does not exist solely on paper. This operational
action plan should come with tools to evaluate its
implementation. There is also an urgent need to
simplify, coordinate and harmonise access to
European funding for rural development."
The CoR rapporteur added: "
In the spirit of territorial cohesion and
rural-urban equilibrium, it is important for all
European policies and resources to ensure that the
principles known as the three E's are complied
Equivalent living standards for the rural and the
urban areas which should be included as a basic
principle in all European policies;
Equal rights for all, whether they live in cities
or in rural areas (ref. Charter of Fundamental
Equity in means and practices across all players
and territories, in particular making use of
exchanges and shared competencies to compensate for
the specific needs of rural territories."
Cllr Stenson also considers that only
a systematic approach, through the adoption of a real
and tangible "Rural Agenda", empowerment of rural
communities, effective market regulation tools and a
fairer and more equitable trade policy will facilitate
and speed up the development of rural areas without
waiting for the next programming period.
The discussion pointed out problems rural areas are
facing such as the inadequacy of public services,
transport links, access to healthcare infrastructures,
Internet and educational services. The growing gap
between rural and urban areas was also highlighted
along with the lack of support for young people
starting farming and the lack of coherence of Cohesion
Policy with the CAP rural development policy.
Agriculture MEPs and representatives of local and
regional authorities stressed that the current pandemic
crisis has only exposed and exacerbated the
consequences of a number of long-standing threats faced
by rural areas and has reemphasized the urgent need for
a rural revival in regions across the European Union.
The present pandemic situation may also present a
unique opportunity to make sure that all relevant EU
policies pay attention to rural development and that
regions and cities are not excluded from the
preparation of post-COVID recovery plans. The funds
available under recovery plans should be mobilized as a
matter of priority for the benefit of rural areas.
Recovery from the COVID 19 crisis in rural areas will
only be possible if regional and local authorities are
involved in the preparation of National Recovery and
Resilience Plans (NRRPs
in line with the Green Deal, as it would enable them to
facilitate a transition and diversification of the
rural economy beyond agriculture.
Regional and Local Barometer
– produced by the
European Committee of the Regions
in October 2020 – highlights that 33% of EU
citizens' want more influence of regions and cities
in EU Agriculture and Rural Development policy. The
increasing rural-urban divide also represents a
clear threat to EU's cohesion.
The need for designing a long-term vision for rural
areas was underlined in President Von der Leyen’s
political guidelines and in the mission letters to
Vice-President Suica (Democracy and Demography),
Commissioner Ferreira (Cohesion and Reforms) and
Commissioner Wojciechowski (Agriculture).
On 7 September 2020, the European Commission (EC)
launched a public consultation on its initiative for a
long-term vision for rural areas. During the feedback
period (7 September – 30 November 2020), the EC
services aim to collect views on current opportunities
and challenges in rural areas, their specific
aspirations and, last but not least, the necessary
actions to achieve them. This public consultation
should be the first step towards an EC Communication on
the topic, to be published mid-2021.
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