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Agriculture and rural development
News article29 March 2022BrusselsDirectorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development

Study shows positive impact of POSEI programmes and programme for smaller Aegean islands (SAI) on reaching their overall objectives for 2015-19

Image: Aegan islands



Today, the European Commission published a synthesis study assessing the success of the POSEI and SAI schemes in reaching their objectives from 2015-2019 based on the annual implementation reports for the same period. The study shows that the POSEI and SAI programmes have had a net positive impact on the overall objectives of the various programmes.

The programmes have been effective in achieving their general regulatory objectives, particularly with regard to the supply of selected agricultural products to the areas concerned (products essential for human consumption or for processing as an agricultural input). For at least some products and some of the regions in question, there is evidence that the benefits of the specific supply arrangements have been passed on to consumers through lower prices compared to those on the respective Member State mainlands.

The programmes have also been effective in achieving the objective of securing the long-term future and development of the livestock and crop diversification sectors in the outermost regions (ORs). On the other hand, the maintenance of traditional agricultural activities in the ORs was less successful during the period analysed.

However, the study argues that in the absence of the POSEI/SAI support, farmers’ incomes would likely have been lower and as such, more farmers would have abandoned agricultural activity. By extension, the development of both the traditional and diversification sectors within agriculture would have been more limited in the absence of this support.

The POSEI and SAI programmes are set up and managed by the respective Member States. The measures and actions implemented through the programmes are considered to be most relevant for the agriculture-related problems faced by the ORs and SAI. Their strategies, however, were found to be less relevant to each individual programme’s objectives, such as those linked to products or sectors specific to one region. This is mostly due to a lack of clarity in the programming documents and in the annual implementation reports.

The report template and the indicators used are considered to be generally suitable for reporting on the delivery of each programme’s objectives. However, several shortcomings have been identified which limit the ability to assess how well these objectives are being met.


Due to their specific characteristics, the EU supports the agricultural sectors of the outermost regions (ORs) – Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Mayotte, Saint-Martin and Réunion Island (France), the Canary Islands (Spain), the Azores and Madeira (Portugal) and the smaller Aegean islands (Greece). The POSEI (Programme of options specific to the remote and insular nature of the outermost regions) and SAI schemes provide targeted assistance to these regions. 

The POSEI scheme (replacing the first pillar of the CAP financed by the European agricultural guarantee fund) – is essential to maintain local agricultural production and ensure an adequate supply of agricultural products in the ORs. The POSEI programmes are designed by the Member States within the limits of their powers. The amount available for the three Member States concerned is EUR 653 million per year. Member States choose the measures according to their needs and have the option to break down the amount by measures according to the objectives of their programmes. The programmes can thus be adapted annually according to the needs expressed.

The Member States concerned (France, Portugal, Spain and Greece) report to the Commission on the performance of the programmes through annual implementation reports (AIRs). This report is a synthesis of the findings of the AIRs for the years 2015-2019. The objective was to identify the net impacts of the POSEI/SAI schemes and judge their effectiveness, efficiency, and relevance. The assessment is entirely based on information collected from the programming documents and background documents provided by the Commission.


Publication date
29 March 2022
Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development