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Parliamentary questions
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17 December 2015
Answer given by Mr Hogan on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-014042/2015

Reducing the number of persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU is one of the key targets of the Europe 2020 strategy. People living in thinly-populated (i.e.rural) areas are most exposed to poverty risk, but the poverty rate has decreased(1).

The reform in 2013 of the common agricultural policy (CAP) resulted in a policy for 2014-2020 focused on competitiveness and sustainability of the agricultural sector and rural areas. Growth and jobs are a priority for the European Commission and the CAP contributes to this priority action with both its I and II pillars. As regards in particular Rural Development Programmes (RDPs), promoting social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas is an EU common priority in the second pillar of the CAP. RDPs are funded jointly by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Member States. The funding aims to create directly, on the basis of the received RDPs, 123 500 non-agricultural new jobs in rural areas. 77 500 of these are in relation to diversification actions and creation and development of small enterprises, while 46 000 are from actions aiming at fostering local development in rural areas.

The RDPs will support new entrants to farming with start-up aid to 171 000 young farmers and 115 000 small farms. Start-up aid or support to investments in non-agricultural activities in rural areas will be given to 60 000 beneficiaries. Furthermore, rural employment will benefit from actions underpinning business development. In this context 335 000 holdings will receive investment support for productive investments, 3.9 million training places will be created and broadband provided to 18 million people.

(1)CAP Context indicators 2014-2020. 9. Poverty rate. http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/cap-indicators/context/2014/c9_en.pdf

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