European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)
The European Union's Common Agricultural Policy aims to support agriculture - consisting of the so-called first pillar which provides the core assistance of direct payments - and of the so-called second pillar, which provides support for rural areas within the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
The second pillar of the CAP, which was created in 2000, and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) help strengthen rural regions. The most recent EU reform of the CAP was concluded in December 2013. Following this reform, Germany received a total of EUR 8.3 billion in EU funds via the EAFRD for the 2014 - 2020 funding period.
Rural development from 2014 - 2020
EU rural development policy has been continually refined to take account of the change in rural regions and the news challenges that have arisen. A partnership agreement between the European Commission and Germany describes the goals of the 2014-2020 programming period.
For the 2014 - 2020 period, Germany has received 1.35 billion Euros annually in EU funds from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) alone.
The priorities of rural development support comprise the following long-term strategic goals:
- promoting the competitive capacity of the agricultural, forestry and food industries;
- ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources, and ensuring climate stewardship; and
- balanced spatial development of rural economies and rural areas.