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Parliamentary questions
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25 August 2017
Answer given by Mr Hogan on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-004935/2017

Based on the principles of shared management, Rural Development Programmes (RDP) are proposed by Member States and assessed and approved by the Commission which ensures compliance with relevant EU legislation(1). Member States decide on the detailed implementation arrangements under their own responsibility.

As regards Leader(2), Local Action Groups (LAGs) design and implement Local Development Strategies (LDS), tailored to their respective areas, taking into account the local needs and potential. It is the responsibility of national authorities to ensure that implementing bodies comply with the EU rules as well as national legal provisions.

The RDP 2014-2020 for Ireland was approved 2 years ago. The selection process for the LDS was initiated thereafter. Although the Irish RDP is still slightly behind EU average as regards the uptake of Leader funds, the amount of money paid to this measure has accelerated substantially in 2017, suggesting that more and more projects are being selected, implemented, and paid for.

It has been the Commission's understanding that the Irish authorities are committed to ensuring an open and transparent process in the implementation of their RDP. This view is also supported by the fact that, on 17 May 2017, Minister Humphreys hosted a forum with participants from all LAGs and Local Development Companies delivering Leader to explore issues of concern and to identify potential solutions aimed at streamlining current administrative and application procedures.

(1)Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013, OJ L 347, 20.12.2013
(2)‘Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l'Économie Rurale’

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