EU backing for Czech processors

Related tags Rural development Czech republic European union

The European Commission has announced a rural development programme
to the value of €250 million for the Czech Republic. The funding is
expected to provide a significant boost to the country's processed
agricultural products sector.

The agreement, which will be formally approved upon accession on 1 May 2004, covers the whole of the Czech republic territory, excluding the Prague metropolitan area. It covers a broad range of rural development projects aimed at increasing competitiveness, consolidation of land ownership and replacement of outmoded technologies which will mainly focus on the processing of agricultural products.

The European Union's​ contribution will be € 173.9 million during the period 2004-2006,and will be complemented by national public funding of € 76.7 million. This political agreement concludes the Commission negotiations to launch the Structural Funds Programming for the Czech Republic for the period 2004-2006.

Announcing this agreement Franz Fischler, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, said that the Czech government was to be congratulated for the efforts and the progress made to prepare the future structural funds programmes in the Czech Republic. He added "We must continue these efforts over the next few months so that the programme can be up and running quickly. For the Czech Republic we want to achieve ambitious objectives: a more competitive and sustainable agricultural sector in and an integrated development of rural areas."

The implementation of the programme will be supervised by a Monitoring Committee, which was established at the end of 2003, representing all partners involved. The EU says that this committee is responsible for the efficient application and fine tuning of the measures in favour of agriculture and rural development as a tailor-made instrument which promotes all opportunities existing in rural areas.

The EU authorities also stressed how the priorities for the programme are defined by the Czech authorities. According to the principle of subsidiarity, the Czech authorities decide about the projects benefiting from EU support under the condition that these decisions are based on objective criteria and that all procedures are transparent and well policed.

Support to agriculture, processing of agricultural products and forestry, which the EU will make a contribution of € 97.5 million to, aims at greater competitiveness and adaptation to the European market conditions, to increase labour productivity, added value and quality of agricultural products.

The EU will also contribute € 73.4 million to rural development, fisheries and vocational training for all of these areas.

The total public expenditure to implement the programme is set at € 250.6 million for the period 2004-2006. This includes a financial contribution of €173.9 million from the European Union, which is broken down to € 166.6 million from the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund, Guidance Section and € 7.3 million from the Financial Instruments for Fisheries Guidance.

The Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic will be the Managing Authority for the programme.

Related topics Processing & Packaging

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