In or out? Here are a few facts that speak for themselves.
Rural development in Scotland: €1.68 billions
The Rural Development Programme (RDP) for Scotland (UK) was formally adopted by the European Commission on 26th May 2015, outlining Scotland’s priorities for using the € 1.68 billion of public money that is available for the 7-year period 2014-2020 (€ 844
million from the EU budget, including € 335 million transferred from the envelope for CAP direct payments, and € 489 million of national co-funding plus € 12 million of additional national funding top-ups).
A central priority of the Scottish RDP is restoring, preserving and enhancing ecosystems related to agriculture and forestry. Approximately 80% of the total funding is allocated to
this priority, targeting more than 6 million hectares
of agricultural and forestry area through environmental land management targeted to specific biodiversity, water
management and soil erosion objectives.
In addition, restructuring and modernisation grants covering roughly 16% of Scottish agricultural holdings will be available with a view to boosting the productivity of farming and forestry and thereby creating economic growth and more jobs.
Support for LEADER is expected to create over 550 jobs in rural areas.
Moreover, almost 13 000 training places will be created to foster innovation, knowledge transfer,co-operation, more sustainable farming practices and stronger rural businesses.
Support for Rural Development is the 2nd Pillar of the Common Agricultural Policy.
It provides Member States with an envelope of EU funding to manage nationally or regionally under multi-annual, co-funded programmes. In total, 118 programmes are foreseen in all 28 Member States.
The new RD Regulation for the period 2014-2020
addresses six economic, environmental and social priorities for the EU, and programmes contain clear targets setting out what is to be achieved.
- Fostering knowledge transfer in agriculture, forestry and rural areas
- Enhancing the competitiveness of all types of agriculture and enhancing farm viability
- Promoting food chain organisation and risk management in agriculture
- Restoring, preserving and enhancing ecosystems dependent on agriculture and forestry
- Promoting resource efficiency and supporting the shift toward a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy in agriculture, food and forestry sectors
- Promoting social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas
In order to coordinate actions better and maximise synergies with the other European Structural & Investment Funds (ESIF), a Partnership Agreement has also been agreed with each
Member State highlighting its broad strategy for EU-funded structural investment.
Read more about RD in Scotland here.
A few questions now:
Is working together with the EU and within the EU for a better rural economy in Scotland and its islands a good or a bad idea? Where would the money for all this come from if the UK leaves the EU? Would the UK central government be committed to spend as much on rural development after Brexit? Would it spell out its priorities as clearly?