Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (1042)

Marian Harkin


1042. Deputy Marian Harkin asked the Minister for Community and Rural Development and the Islands the steps that have been taken to advance the commitment in the Programme for Government to prioritise a State-led rural development programme to bridge the gap between the wind-up of the existing Leader Programme and the implementation of the new programme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26965/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Community)

LEADER is co-funded by the European Commission under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The current programming period concludes in December 2020.  Proposals for new regulations for the CAP 2021-2027 were launched in June 2018 by the European Commission.  However, given the nature of the discussions on the CAP and the wider EU Budget post-2020, there has been a delay in adopting these proposals.  This means that the next LEADER programme will not now commence until January 2022 at the earliest.

The Programme for Government includes a commitment to bridge the gap between the current LEADER programme and the next programming period.  The European Commission has also published proposals for transitional measures to allow for continuity between the programming periods.  The Commission's Transitional Regulation is still under negotiation and there are still a number of issues to be resolved over the coming months, including the duration of the transitional period.  

Decisions relating to the Programme for Government commitment for a transitional LEADER programme will be taken shortly, having regard, inter alia, to any transitional arrangements that may be agreed at European level.