Letter to EU agriculture ministers from Commissioner Wojciechowski on rural development and the COVID-19 outbreak


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Our farmers and all actors of the food supply chain are working hard to ensure that safe and high quality food continues to be available throughout this crisis. I have listened to your concerns and announced already flexibilities and simplifications that will guarantee the continuation of support to farmers and other beneficiaries of the common agricultural policy (CAP) under current restrictions and social distancing measures adopted by Member States. The final legal steps are currently being taken to adopt these measures as quickly as possible.

At this point, I would like to encourage you to make the fullest possible use of all flexibility and opportunities available under the rural development framework of the CAP. While some Member States unfortunately have little or no budgetary margin left, I welcome that those who do have it, are already looking pro-actively into how to use money still available under their rural development programmes to finance relevant actions to face the crisis and to recover from it. Based on information available to the Commission, I note that at this moment some €6 billion can still be committed by the Member States under their rural development programmes; this amount increases to around €17 billion when considering the amounts reserved for on-going calls for applications not yet finalised.

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