Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos launched on Monday, during his visit in Alba County, the package of measures for “The Development of Rural Middleclass,” an event attended by Deputy Prime Minister Vasile Dincu and Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Achim Irimescu, according to a Government communiqué.
According to the aforementioned source, the document seeks to come up with innovative economic development solutions for the rural middleclass, by capitalizing on European grants, simplifying the legislation, implementing existing measures introduced by the Common Agricultural Policy reform (orientation toward agriculture of the middle) and implementing new measures such as offering vouchers to day labourers and independent handicraftsmen (a simplified method of paying taxes), developing vocational and technical education in the agriculture domain, implementing the “First Agricultural Equipment” national programme, setting up crediting and guarantee instruments from national sources (including micro-crediting) and developing the rural economy through eco- and agro-tourism.
“Six years ago, when we started to prepare the Common Agricultural Policy Reform, I thought about a moment such as this. What I did there, in Brussels, I wanted to be seen several years later in Romania. What we are doing now is based on the Common Agricultural Policy Reform and on what was thought-out by the previous Government, which started to prepare the National Rural Development Programme in order to implement the reform. Through this package, we take over the thought-out measures and we adapt, strengthen and effectively implement them. Why middleclass? Because we have had a bipolar agriculture for several years now. We have very large farms in certain areas but, unfortunately, in large agricultural areas we also have very large “pockets of poverty,” having “subsistence farms” at the opposite end, the Premier stated.
He pointed out that there is no country that does not rely on family farms, which are absent in Romania.
“That is why we have set some clear targets and we want to start several concrete projects this year,” the Prime Minister said in the speech he gave at the launch of the “Development of Rural Middleclass” package.
The visit started with a meeting with local authorities, which focused on topics related to local public administration and the way European grants can be used, and continued at small farms, non-agricultural businesses and infrastructure projects, financed with European grants, that represent good practice models in the Ciugud commune.
In the afternoon, the contents of the “Development of Rural Middleclass” package were presented at the conference that took place at the town hall in Drimbar village, Ciugud commune.
“Ciugud is a commune in which a lot of things have taken place with European grants lately. I find it a good example for the way in which various measures included in the rural development programme can be used in an integrated manner in order to create a development concept, not just to finalize a project here and there. We need integration at local level. This cannot be done from the office, from Bucharest; that is why I find it appropriate for us to launch the “Package of Measures for the Development of Rural Middleclass” in a place where a lot of positive things have already happened,” Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos stated, referring to Ciugud commune.