FISCHLER calls for visionary village development

On the occasion of the announcement of the winners of the “European Village Renovation Award 2000“, Franz FISCHLER, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, welcomed the initiative. “This award underlines that rural development and village renovation should not be limited to preservation aspects. What we need are creative and visionary projects which combine the future of the villages with their past. I am glad and honoured to announce the winners today. I would like to stress that the criteria for this award fit perfectly with the EU´s new rural development policy. Ecological, social and cultural aspects play a major role – for awarding this prize and for new rural development framework as the second pillar of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).”

The Commissioner pointed out that the renovation and development of villages is eligible for EU co-financing up to 75% in Objective 1 areas and 50% in all other areas. This measure forms part of Article 33 of the rural development regulation which groups a series of measures – like promotion of turism or marketing of quality farm products – aimed at the promotion of integrated rural development throughout the EU.

All in all, the rural development policy represents a coherent package of measures with three main objectives: To create a stronger agricultural and forestry sector, to improve the competitiveness of rural areas, to maintain the environment and to preserve Europe´s rural heritage. The EU funds available to achieve these objectives are considerable and amount to more than 4,3 billion euros per year from 2000 on.

“The new policy for rural development seeks to establish a coherent and sustainable framework for the future Europes´s rural areas.”, FISCHLER continued. “It will complement the reforms introduced into the market sectors by promoting a competitive, multi-functional agricultural sector in the context of a comprehensive, integrated strategy for rural development. And clearly, the renovation, but also the development of villages, the preservation or our unique rural heritage have an important role to play in the rural development plans which are currently examined by the Commission.”

Internet-Homepage: http://europa.eu.int/comm/commissioners/fischler/index_en.htm
e-mail: kabinett-fischler@cec.eu.int