19 Jan 2016
EVALUATIONS OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES – 19 JANUARYBrussels Daily
Synthesis of ex ante evaluations of rural development programmes 2014 – 2020
The synthesis of ex ante evaluations of rural development programmes 2014 – 2020, financed by the European Commission, was carried out by Kantor. The conclusions, recommendations and opinions presented in this report reflect the opinion of the consultant and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Commission.
In line with the EU2020 Strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, the overall Common
Agricultural Policy (CAP) objectives offer a holistic and integrated approach to policy support during
the 2014-2020 programming period, through pursuing the competitiveness of agriculture, the
sustainable management of natural resources and the balanced territorial development of rural areas
throughout the EU. For the purposes of promoting rural development policy through Rural
Development Programmes (RDPs) these broad objectives are structured around:
- 6 priorities for rural development, broken down into 18 Focus Areas which define policy
emphasis with respect to the identified needs for interventions and
- 3 cross-cutting objectives, namely, Innovation, Environment and Climate Change.
In addition, a Common Strategic Framework (CSF) is established for all European Structural and
Investment Funds (ESIF) to improve co-ordination between them. Under the CSF, each Member State
(MS) has developed its Partnership Agreement (PA) which reflects the objectives and targets of
EU2020 Strategy and lay out the integration of the ESIF.
Development policy framework and budget
Compared to the previous programming periods, there is increased flexibility in the use and
combination of measures (20 in total) to better address specific territorial needs, along with measures
with a clear contribution to the EU2020 priorities; result-orientation in the choice of measures which
are associated with specific quantified targets; an improved monitoring and evaluation system; ex
ante conditionalities and performance review.
The EAFRD budget for Pillar II in the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2014-2020 is €99.6
billion in current prices. The share of expenditure between Pillars may change in 2014-2020, with the
possibility for MS to transfer up to 15% (up to 25% in some cases) between Pillars enabling them to
better target spending to specific needs and priorities.
The evaluation framework
The role of the ex ante evaluation with regard to the design and the evaluation of RDPs is
threefold: a) matching the RDP to the needs of the area, b) fitting RDPs into the bigger
picture (CAP Pillar I, ESIF and other national/regional funds) and c) setting the foundation for
evaluating RDP achievements. Also, the ex ante evaluation proceeds in parallel with: a) the PA
development, b) the RDP development and c) the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).
In accordance with Article 79 of Reg. (EU) 1305/2013, a synthesis of the ex ante evaluations at
EU level must be undertaken under the responsibility of the Commission. The objective of this
synthesis is to provide an analysis and synthesis of the ex ante evaluations of the RDPs and National
Rural Network Programmes (NRNPs) 2014-2020 with a focus on specific themes, to identify common
trends, highlight differences between the programmes and provide conclusions and recommendations
on the study themes.