Question for written answer E-008853/2015
to the Commission
Jonathan Arnott (EFDD) and Julia Reid (EFDD)
Subject: Funding of agricultural projects in Georgia
EUR 4 612 447 has been given to a project in Georgia to strengthen farmers’ cooperatives in rural municipalities. Is there any concrete benefit to the Member States?
Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini
on behalf of the Commission
Under the European Neighbourhood Programme for Rural Development in Georgia (ENPARD), with a total budget of EUR 40,000,000, the EU is funding not a one stand-alone project but a set of measures aiming to strengthen business oriented small farmers’ cooperatives. The amount of the EU funding to these grants schemes is EUR 15,000,000. Also as part of ENPARD, the EU is providing direct technical assistance and budget support to the Government on agri-coops development. Thanks to these efforts, 1,040 agriculture cooperatives have been established. The main objective of this support is to improve the living conditions of the small farmers in Georgia. There are several positive effects for the EU Member States too:
(1) By supporting coops, the EU is aiming at alleviating rural poverty, which ultimately should enhance social cohesion and stability in Georgia, and also reduce the migration rate from rural areas. A more prosperous and more stable Georgia is in EU’s and its Member States interest.
(2) Investors from the EU Member States, such as European exporting companies and retailers operating in Georgia are already benefiting from economy of scale production by the smaller farmers.