In conjunction with interinstitutional cooperation, the "Better law-making" agreement and the REFIT programme, the Committee is taking part in the evaluation of EU policies and legislation. This evaluation entails drawing up an inventory of the assessments, criticisms, concerns and requests of the organisations represented in the Committee and, where appropriate, of other civil society organisations, to be forwarded to the institutions assisted by the Committee under Article 300(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
Further to the EESC Bureau decision of 20 September 2016 on the EESC's participation in the evaluation of EU policies and legislation, it has been decided to prepare an information report on the ex post evaluation of rural development programmes 2007-2013. This report will be limited to one or two pages of conclusions and an appendix setting out a technical report. In its conclusions, the Committee will highlight the main ways in which the policy in question has affected civil society and, if appropriate, will recommend that an opinion be adopted at a later date, possibly providing suggestions for its content. The appendix will include an inventory of consultation activities carried out and the findings thereof.
Summary of the Information Report
The EESC has found the rural development policy to be one of the most welcome EU policies. RDPs boosted regional development, stimulated economic growth and job creation and succeeded to transform the situation of the countryside across the EU.
A lack of coordination, complementariness and consistency with the actions of the other structural and cohesion funds (Social Fund, Regional Development Fund, etc.) in rural areas hindered the overall aim of a more balanced territorial development. Future RDPs should focus on vulnerable EU areas in order to achieve a better balance between rural and urban areas.