The ex-ante assessment for the use of financial instruments within Ireland’s European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Operational Programmes has been completed and is available on the department’s website.

The report was presented to the Rural Development Programme (RDP) Monitoring Committee in September 2017; written public consultation on the ex-ante assessment was subsequently held to hear the views of stakeholders on the proposed use of financial instruments.

This is according to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, who was speaking on the matter during Dáil proceedings last week.

He was responding to questions put to him by Fianna Fáil’s deputy Charlie McConalogue who asked the minister about the status of developments on the issue.

McConalogue also asked if the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has completed its analysis on the effect of the changes in the implementation of financial instruments.

My department assessed the feedback from the RDP Monitoring Committee and considered the public consultation responses.

Creed continued: “My department also considered the effect of the changes in the implementation of financial instruments following the adoption of EU Regulation 2017/2393 during this period.”

Meanwhile, the minister went on to say that in April 2019, he decided on a number of action points and he highlighted how a financial instrument must not be introduced for either the RDP or the EMFF at this time.

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He also said that the lessons learnt in conducting the financial instrument ex-ante assessment and consultation exercise be taken into consideration in the design of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Strategic Plan 2021-2027 and the next Operational Programme for the EMFF.

“The monitoring committee for the RDP was kept informed at all stages of the process,” he concluded.