Written Answers. - Leader II Programme.

Phil Hogan

Question:

199 Mr. Hogan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry when he will make the necessary decisions in respect of Leader II; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1126/94]

My Department is preparing an operational programme for submission to the European Commission by the end of October. This programme must first be approved by the Commission before groups may be selected here to implement Leader II.

A total of 48 business plans have been received from applicant groups. I will be having these evaluated over the coming months so as to minimise the time between the approval of the operational programme and the selection of the successful groups. In view of the fairly lengthy procedures involved, an announcement about the successful groups cannot be expected until early in 1995.