The objective of the preparation and implementation of the Estonian Rural Development Plan (ERDP) for 2014–2020 is to support Estonian rural development in a manner that is complementary to other measures of the European Union Common Agricultural Policy (for example, direct supports and market organisation measures), cohesion policy and the European Common Fisheries Policy.
Additionally, the Ministry of Rural Affairs wants to help to raise the competitiveness of agriculture, improve the sustainable management of natural resources, improve the climate action, and ensure balanced territorial development of rural areas through the implementation of the development plan.
During the period from 2014–2020, rural development policy will be, at the level of the European Union, involved in common strategic framework along with the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. At the national level, partnership agreements, negotiated and agreed on with the European Commission, are prepared as a part of the joint planning for the implementation of these funds.
Estonian Rural Development Plan for 2014–2020 is implemented through the measures, which are based on the needs and objectives identified during the preparation of the development plan. In total, it is intended to implement over 20 (sub)measures within the framework of the development plan.
The Ministry of Rural Affairs involved the representatives of its social partners in the preparation of the development plan.
Objectives and priorities
The rural development policy implementation mechanism for the period from 2014–2020 provides the improvement of strategic approach through common rural development policy priorities defined at the European Union level. There are a total of six priorities valid for the whole community and these serve as a basis for the programming of rural resources.
Priority 1: Improving knowledge transfer and innovation in the agricultural and forestry sector and rural areas
Objective: Functioning cooperation, timely research and development, and knowledge transfer between the manufacturer, the processor, the adviser and the researcher.
Priority 2: Improving the viability of agricultural holdings and the competitiveness of all agricultural forms in all areas and promoting innovative agricultural technologies and sustainable forest management
Objective: Viable and sustainable food production-oriented agricultural sector is competitive, resource-efficient, and with sustainable age structure.
Priority 3: Promoting the organisation of food chain in agriculture, including the processing and marketing of agricultural products, animal welfare, and risk management
Objective: Holdings engaged in the production and processing of agricultural products have market power and they cooperate in producing, processing, and marketing agricultural products.
Priority 4: Restoring, preserving and improving agricultural and forestry ecosystems
Objective: Agricultural land use is environmentally friendly and takes into account regional specifics; the preservation of agriculture and forestry with biodiversity, traditional landscapes and high nature value are ensured.
Priority 5: Promoting resource efficiency and supporting the transition to low-CO2 emission and climate resilient economy in agriculture and food and forestry sectors
Objective: Agriculture and the food industry has made energy saving and energy efficiency investments, greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions are reduced and the conservation and capture of CO2 has been promoted in agriculture and forestry.
Priority 6: Promoting social inclusion, poverty reduction and the rural economic development
Objective: Rural economy and living environment in rural areas are diverse, provide alternative employment opportunities for labour force released from agriculture and are based on local resources and potential-based solutions.
- Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down common provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund »
- Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) »
- Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy »
- Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for direct payments to farmers under support schemes within the framework of the common agricultural policy »
- Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products »
- Regulation (EU) No 1310/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down certain transitional provisions on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), amending Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards resources and their distribution in respect of the year 2014 and amending Council Regulation (EC) No 73/2009 and Regulations (EU) No 1307/2013, (EU) No 1306/2013 and (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards their application in the year 2014 »