In the 2014–2020 programming period, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), a Rural Development Programme (RDP) co-financing tool, is subject to numerous regulations spearheaded by Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 laying down common provisions on the European Structural and Investment Funds (the “Common Provisions Regulation”).
The rural development policy, drawn up by reference to the Common Provisions Regulation, has been devised to bolster farmers’ competitiveness, the sustainable management of natural resources, climate-related measures and balanced rural development.
In line with the rural development policy and Europe 2020, general tasks targeting the support of rural development in the 2014–2020 programming period are defined by six EU-wide priorities. Measures governing rural development may touch on the priorities below:
Active members of rural communities interested in contributing to LAG (Local Action Group) activities or in establishing LAGs in the 2014–2020 programming period may submit a standardisation application. A LAG, a Community instrument for the management of local development in rural areas, serves as part of the implementation arsenal regulated by the Common Provisions Regulation.
By meeting standards, the LAGs will prove that they have the capacity to contribute to the implementation of programmes financed by European Structural and Investment Funds. A partnership agreement has made the Ministry of Agriculture responsible for setting these standards. LAGs passing the standardisation process will be able to submit subsidy applications in support of their community-led local development strategy (SCLLD) to the Ministry of Regional Development, as the body responsible for this area of LAG selection.