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REA (CHAFEA): Changes in evaluation and proposal structure
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Introduction: REA (CHAFEA) changes in the proposal structure
The agri-food promotion programmes REA (CHAFEA) and the elaboration of proposals are dynamic processes, subject to modifications and evolution both in the content of the proposals and in the evaluation process by the European Commission.
This article shows the changes in the evaluation and structure of CHAFEA proposals that have taken place in recent years.
History of changes: 2008 to 2014
The most significant changes occurred with the change of regulation 3/2008 to 114/2014:
- The Commission’s Annual Plan defining strategic priorities (target groups, products, themes or target markets) was introduced for the first time and adopted as an implementing act; giving priority to those promotion programmes in third countries.
- Inclusion of the Simple Programmes in the Internal Market
- Addition of all agricultural products in Annex I of the TFEU, including processed products, spirit drinks with GI, national quality schemes…
- The mentioning of brands as the origin of products, both on the internal market and in third countries, has been made more flexible.
- The categories of beneficiaries have been broadened (professional organisations, producers, producers’ associations, etc.).
- Establishment of technical support to help operators prepare effective campaigns and develop activities on export markets during the implementation and development of programmes.
- Mention of crisis management in the general objectives of the programmes, including an EU co-financing rate of 85% for crisis programmes.
- End of national co-financing and an EU co-financing rate of 70% for simple programmes and 80% for multi programmes.
- The estimated budget is increased from €61 million to €200 million per year from 2019.
Changes since 2014 in the REA (CHAFEA) proposal structure
However, since 2014, there have been other changes in the development of proposals. In recent calls, the most significant changes have been around the commission’s evaluation methodology and requirements, as well as in certain sections of the outline content of proposals.
The text of the proposals published for both single (i.e. with beneficiaries from a single Member State) and multi (beneficiaries from two or more Member States) agri-food promotion programmes detailed an evaluation system which, in the latest publication of proposals, has been simplified in 2019.
In 2019, the evaluation system was divided into four sections: Union dimension, Quality of the technical proposal, Quality of the project management and Budget and value for money.
The division of points for the evaluation was also different, with more sections in which to obtain a minimum score to pass.
In total, the minimum to obtain approval of the proposal was 62 points, with a maximum of 100 points.
For the 2021 proposals, these sections are simplified as follows, for both single and multi programmes:
- Relevance or Relevance (25 points maximum – 15 points minimum): of the proposed action with respect to the general and specific objectives listed in Regulation 1144/2014, as well as to the priorities, objectives and expected results announced under the thematic priority corresponding to each call.
- Contribution of the project in relation to the sustainability of production and consumption with respect to the objectives of the CAP, Green Deal and Farm to Fork strategy.
- Quality and relevance of the market analysis.
- Consistency of action strategy, specific objectives, target groups and key messages.
- Campaign message with community objective
- Quality (50 points maximum – 30 points minimum) refers to the appropriate choice of activities in relation to the objective and action strategy, appropriate mix of communication and synergy between activities, as well as the concise description of activities and results. It also includes the assessment of the quality of the proposed evaluation methods and indicators, the appropriate allocation of the budget in relation to the objectives and scope of the activities, the clear description of the estimated costs and accuracy of the budget, its coherence, and finally the organisation and management structure of the project as well as the quality control and risk management mechanisms.
- Impact (25 points maximum – 15 points minimum) of the project at EU level and the justification of the overall level of investment.
It is important to pay attention to each programme proposal application document, as there may be differences in content requirements and evaluation methods from year to year.