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O'Rawe - Rural development policy must become more open and accessible

23 June, 2003

Sinn Féin Rural development Spokesperson, Armagh Councillor Pat O'Rawe added that the new emphasis must be put on making rural development policy work.

Cllr O'Rawe said:

"Rural development policy must become more open and accessible. Post 2006 there will be a vastly reduced budget for rural development. Modulation money top sliced from the overall agriculture budgets will be the main source of money for rural development. While modulation will increase from 3% to over 6%, Sinn Féin believe that this money must remain in the member state, and be match funded by the member state.

"In Europe we told Corrado Pirozi - Biroli that Rural development must be simplified and have local delivery mechanisms. Rural development must work for local people and by local people. The only way this will work is in adopting the LEADER model across Europe. This would take Rural Development away from the departments and reduce the money wasted in administration and mismanagement.

"We urge both governments to fully engage with the commission during any mid term review of Structural Funds, so they are focused upon rural communities who are going to be impacted by the economic effects of the CAP proposals." END

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