The first pilot projects under the new initiative for investment in EU rural areas, outlined at the recent fi-compass conference on financial instruments, are encouraged to get started before the end of the year, as talks with the first interested Member States are advancing.

The new initiative aims to combine EU budget amounts from Common Agricultural Policy Rural Development funds (EAFRD) and the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), the core of the Juncker Commission's Investment Plan for Europe.

Results are intended to create substantial leverage and economic gains for EU farmers and rural economies, by attracting significant volumes of private capital to further modernise EU agriculture.

Design, target areas and scope of the support will be key to achieve the expected impact, which may be up to 60% higher than that of the currently implemented options. The adoption of the Omnibus regulation proposed by the Commission in September 2016 is another critical element for the success of the initiative, as it provides the legal base for the move.

The new initiative to boost financing for the EU rural economy was announced at the 2nd annual EAFRD fi-compass Conference on 25 November by Commissioner Hogan and the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group, in the presence of the Commission's Vice-President Katainen.

More information on the fi-compass website