2014-2020 Rural Development Programme

The new Rural Development Programme for Northern Ireland will run from 2014 – 2020.  The draft Programme was submitted to the European Commission on 14th October 2014.  

The documents listed below were submitted to the European Commission:

The following document has been drawn up to give stakeholders a summary of the proposed measures and an overview of the 2014-2020 Rural Development Programme:
All queries should be directed to ruralpolicy.branch@dardni.gov.uk


The draft EU regulations for rural development were published by the European Commission on 12 October 2011 as part of the common agricultural policy (CAP) reform proposals.  These proposals inform how DARD have designed the RDP for Northern Ireland for the 2014 - 2020 period.
A key document in driving all EU policy is the Europe 2020 strategy which has three main aims for reviving the European economy in response to the current economic downturn. The EU aims to see growth that is competitive, sustainable and inclusive.
These aims have been translated into three objectives that are relevant to rural development. It sees;
  • smart growth as being achieved through the competitiveness of our agriculture and food industries;
  • sustainable growth through the sustainable management of our natural resources;
  • inclusive growth through balanced territorial development of rural areas.

Six European Union proposals for rural development

Beneath the three objectives, the proposals specify six EU priorities for rural development:
  • knowledge transfer and innovation in agriculture, forestry and rural areas, which is described as a cross-cutting or horizontal priority;
  • farm competitiveness and risk management;
  • food chain organisation;
  • restoring and enhancing ecosystems;
  • promoting resource efficiency;
  • social inclusion, poverty reduction and rural economic development.
The main differences from the 2007 – 2013 rural development regulation are;
  • the removal of the axis structure to improve the flexibility of the programme;
  • a consolidation of existing measures into fewer broader measures;
  • and an increased focus on knowledge transfer and innovation, co-operation, climate change mitigation and the environment.

Related Items