Commission adopts €3.357bn ‘Partnership Agreement’ with Ireland

"Ireland" (c) nasa public domain photo by Jeff Schmaltz

All 28 Member States of the EU have now signed Rural Development partnership agreements with the EU Commission.  Ireland’s partnership agreement was the last of 28 to be adopted.

In Ireland around €2.19 billion is being allocated for the development of the agricultural sector and rural areas from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

According to the EU Commission: “Actions aimed at preserving and protecting the environment and promoting resource  efficiency, in line with Europe 2020 – Climate Change/Energy targets and also aligned  with the objectives of the National Spatial Strategy 2002-2020, will be a cornerstone in the ESI funded programmes for Ireland.”
Other monies allocated to Ireland include: An additional €1.143 billion will be devoted to Cohesion Policy (ERDF and ESF (including YEI)) including €68.1 million for the Youth Employment Initiative and €168.9 million for European territorial cooperation. The allocation from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) amounts to some €147.6 million.

See table below from the EU Commission on Ireland’s spending by category.

Thematic Objective Total Funding
Strengthening research, technological development and innovation    186,992,153
Enhancing access to, and use and quality of, ICT     75,000,000
Enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs, of the agricultural sector (for the EAFRD) and of the fishery and aquaculture sector (for the EMFF)    283,881,587
Supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy in all sectors    433,500,000
Promoting climate change adaptation, risk prevention and management    704,800,000
Preserving and protecting the environment and promoting resource efficiency    838,370,392
Promoting sustainable and quality employment and supporting labour mobility    307,325,622
Promoting social inclusion, combating poverty and any discrimination    350,807,784
Investing in education, training and vocational training for skills and lifelong learning    160,698,574
Technical assistance     17,606,529
Total 3,357,982,641


Ireland’s spending choices have been described as being mostly  – 80% – focused on environment and climate-related actions. Technically, this may well be true. However Ireland is heavily invested in producing very large quantities of meat and milk, and it plans to grow these sectors significantly in the coming years.

This is inevitably difficult to do, when compared to other food options, in  a climate change sensitive way. Ireland also led the change in having climate change targets essentially written out of the EU’s emissions reductions targets.

More from EU Commisison on Rural Development Plans 

Decisions taken by Member States for the implementation of the new direct support system – State of play

Ireland’s Partnership Agreement summary

QandA on Partnership Agreements

Oliver Moore
About Oliver Moore 183 Articles
DR. Oliver Moore is the communications director and editor-in-chief with ARC2020. He has a PhD in the sociology of farming and food, where he specialised in organics and direct sales. He is published in the International Journal of Consumer Studies, International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology and the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. A weekly columnist and contributor with Irish Examiner, he is a regular on Countrywide (Irish farm radio show on the national broadcaster RTE 1) and engages in other communications work around agri-food and rural issues, such as with the soil, permaculture, climate change adaptation and citizen science initiative Grow Observatory . He lectures part time in the Centre for Co-operative Studies UCC