Most regions in Europe are made up of territories known as “rural” areas and are thus concerned by the issues linked to rural development and agriculture. The presence of agriculture in all our European regions is a strong illustration of the identity of our continent and a significant component of the landscape in our territories. Questions of autonomy, food quality and security are a priority for all citizens in Europe as elsewhere.
Agriculture in rural areas is still a major provider of employment. The future of rural areas is closely connected to the future of the next generation of farmers. The Assembly of European Regions welcomes the choice of the “progressive reform” scenario, which allows for substantial adjustments in favour of a greener CAP and increased focus on rural development.
AER also welcomes the increased flexibility foreseen in Pillar 2 which should enable to fund additional activities that were previously located in a grey zone and not eligible in either of the axes. We welcome the move to a further greening of the CAP but request more flexibility, so that the different territorial realities can be accounted for. Regions should be able to choose from a a broader catalogue of possible measures in pillar 2.
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