Answer given by Mr Cioloş on behalf of the Commission
The Commission's proposal for a post-2013 Rural Development Regulation mentions the forestry sector many times in connection with the detailed Union priorities for rural development. This is the case, for example, with regard to priority 1 (knowledge transfer and innovation) and priority 5 (resource-efficiency and the shift to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy) — both of which are closely linked to competitiveness.
Furthermore, the proposed measure ‘Investments in forest area development and improvement of the viability of forests’ explicitly targets the competitiveness of the forestry sector. Support under the final article of this measure (related to ‘investments in new forestry technologies and in processing and marketing of forest products’) is explicitly available not only to private forest owners, municipalities and their associations but also to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises.
Alongside this measure are proposed measures related to forests' place in the natural environment.
The Commission concludes that its proposals offer ample provision for the forestry sector and, with respect to this sector, are firmly in line with the requirements of the Europe 2020 strategy.