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The European Agriculture Fund for the Development of Rural Areas

The European Agriculture Fund for the Development of Rural Areas (EAFRD) is promoting social issues in the programme period from 2014-2020 and has an overall budget of €235.4m (including national co-financing via the provinces).

The provinces (except Vienna) are making around €215.6m of EAFRD funding available for investments in social services and approx. €19.8m for the health sector including national co-financing via the provinces.

As the body responsible for this matter at a federal level, the function of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection is solely that of a coordinator. The co-financing for this kind of project comes from the provinces, due to their responsibility for the corresponding investments.

Investments in the creation, improvement or expansion of basic local services for rural development and the related infrastructure can be subsidised.

With these investments in social issues, local jobs are created, the number of people leaving rural areas is reduced, and employment in the countryside is generally promoted. In this way, a significant contribution is made towards the attractiveness of rural areas.

What can be subsidised?

The following facilities in rural areas can be subsidised with a minimum volume of €50,000 up to a maximum of €2.5m (the amount of the subsidies is 100 percent of the eligible costs):

Investments in

  • Childcare facilities
  • Psychosocial and psychiatric facilities for children and young people
  • Care and support facilities (such as day centres)
  • The creation of residential buildings to cover the need for support and accommodation of children, older people, people with disabilities or those in particular need
  • Investments in mobile services as well as services for picking people up, taking them to places and assisting them
  • Hard and software for social services and everyday support, backed up by information and communications technology
  • Barrier-free access to offers of social services
  • The creation and extension of infrastructure in the field of outpatient health care services including video interpreting services (within the framework of managing heath targets)

Applicants for subsidies

In the social sector, the following are subsidised: regional administrative bodies, non-profit associations and companies, public-law bodies, local authorities and associations of local authorities, as well as working groups of the aforementioned organisations. In the health care sector, this applies to health service providers, social health and care services, as well as towns and cities and local authorities.

The selection process

The selection of projects is carried out either by a so-called blocked procedure or by means of calls for applications in the respective province. In blocked procedures, at least two selection procedures are evenly distributed across the entire subsidy period. At the same time, the respective province as the granting authority can also carry out additional calls for project applications for particularly relevant and urgent subject areas, or to focus on specific issues. The closing dates and the calls for the submission of project applications are published in advance. The selection and approval of the projects takes place on the basis of a transparent, nationwide and objective assessment process.

Implementation by the provinces

These subsidies are realised solely by the respective provinces. The approval bodies are either a department of the provincial government or the district agricultural authority. Agrarmarkt Austria (AMA) acts as the paying authority which carries out the entire administrative procedure and ensures that payments are made. 
All of the provinces have carried out selection procedures or calls for projects on specific issues, and the related project investments will be subsidised. Until the end of the period, new selection procedures and calls are planned in order to completely utilise the funding.

Best-practice projects which have already been applied for or approved:

  • The extension of accommodation in the Children’s and Youth Psychiatric Unit in Rankweil and the erection of a day clinic at the Marianum Bregenz Children’s and Youth Psychiatric Unit (both in Vorarlberg). 
  • New build of the workshop for people with disabilities in Haag am Hausruck
  • New builds of residential buildings and day clinics as establishment of residential groups for people with disabilities (Upper Austria, Burgenland)
  • New build of a senior citizens’ day care centre in Werfen (Salzburg)
  • St. Anton Refugees Home (Salzburg)
  • Extension of Mauterndorf nursery school (Salzburg)
  • Intergenerational parent-child centre in the sheltered housing scheme in Berndorf (Salzburg)
  • The Child Care Atlas – a platform providing an overview of child care facilities (Burgenland)
  • Transport services – purchase of vehicles for the transport of people with physical disabilities (Burgenland)
  • Conversion of a residential home, Großpetersdorf Health Centre, Burgenland
  • The construction of day care facilities and Lower Austrian provincial nursery schools, e.g. in the local authority areas of Sitzendorf an der Schmieda, Glinzendorf and St Anton an der Jessnitz, and in the market towns of Leiben, Langau, Pernegg  and Grafenwörth
  • The erection of a two-group nursery school and a two-group day care centre in the market town of Ernstbrunn
  • Conversion of the Zoecklerhaus to provide accommodation with intensive support (Carinthia)
  • Affordable housing for people with disabilities (Styria)
  • Creation of accessibility in the Haus am Seespitz Therapy Centre and in Imst (Tyrol)
  • New build of PSP sheltered accommodation in Volders (Tyrol)
  • PHC - Primary Health Care in Enns (Upper Austria)
  • PVZ Marchtrenk und PVN Neuzeug-Sirning (Upper Austria).
Last update: 8 November 2019