Citizens from across the EU will have their chance to improve the way the EU supports rural development thanks to a public consultation by the European Commission launched on 22 January.
The consultation will run until 20 April and allow interested participants to give their feedback on the effectiveness of the many rural development programmes that were funded from the Common Agricultural Policy budget for the period 2007-2013. The aim is to assess what worked and what did not during this period, in order to improve rural development programming in the future.
Among the questions asked are whether respondents believe that rural development programmes have improved the competitiveness of agriculture and forestry, contributed to improving the environment and the countryside, as well as improving the quality of life in rural areas and helping to diversify the rural economy. Respondents are also asked if they consider rural development programmes to offer value for money.
The European Commission will put forward new legal proposals for improving EU food and farming later this year, drawing on its recent communication and on the results of ongoing assessments of the impact of various potential policy options. The results of this public consultation will also feed into the process and help inform future policy proposals.