New capsule of the CAP: European Commission dixit: The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development is no more a Structural Fund
On 29 may 2018, The European Commission has approved its proposals of legal text for Regional development and cohesion. I will not develop here an analysis of this proposal as it is outside the scope of my limited competences. But there is something strange which hurts me as soon as I saw the proposals.
Il you go to common regulation for the different structural funds, a novelty introduce for the current financial perspectives, you discover that the EAFRD is no more concerned. The Commission does not consider now the Rural Development Fund as another member of the Structural fund family.
In its Communication on the Future of Food and Farming, the Commission said that in order “to enhance EU added value and to preserve a functioning agricultural internal market Member States would take their decisions not in isolation, but in the framework of a structured process that would materialise in establishing a CAP strategic plan , which would cover interventions in both pillar I and pillar II, thus ensuring policy coherence across the future CAP and with other policies.”
With a decrease budget, a result-oriented policy has to be based on consistency, between the 2 pillars of the CAP, obviously, and with “other policies”, as underlined by the Commission. Amongst those “other policies”, regional and cohesion policy are key. The whereas clause 2 of the current Regulation underlines the need “to improve coordination and harmonise implementation of the Funds”. Apparently, this is no more relevant as far as the Rural development Fund is concerned.
I cannot disagree more. The new delivery model for the CAP make sense in addition to the existing European tools trying to develop consistencies and synergies between the different European policies which act on a territory, not instead of the current mechanisms.