Agriculture and Rural Development
Known as the “second pillar” of the Common Agricultural Policy, the EU's Rural Development Policy has changed over time in order to adjust to the evolving key EU priorities, and for the period 2014-2020 has been revised in line with the wider CAP reform. Its emphasis on investing for success has enabled many farmers to learn new techniques, upgrade facilities, and carry out essential restructuring, thus sharpening their competitive edge.
Today, the rural economy faces significant challenges relating to food safety, climate change, growth. and jobs in rural areas. Within the EU, rural development plays a key part in achieving the overall objective of promoting smart, sustainable. and inclusive growth in rural communities.
Substancial financial support has been provided by the EU in the field of agriculture and rural development through the rural development component of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) called Instrument for Pre-Accession in Rural Development (IPARD).
IPARD is assisting Turkey to implement the CAP acquis communautaire and to align to the EU structures through financial assistance under a multi-annual rural development programme. IPARD represents a very solid example of EU-Turkish cooperation in financial assistance. With more than 11,000 projects and nearly €2 billion in total investment, IPARD has so far created 50,000 jobs.
The EU has confirmed a new package of support "IPARD II" for the next six years, and this will bring an additional €800 million to Turkey. It will feature a large degree of continuity with the old programme, albeit offering some more support to innovation and skills development by introducing support for renewable energy infrastructure as well as community development initiatives (LEADER) and agri-environment measures.