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Rural Development

The EU's policy on Rural Development helps rural areas respond to the challenges they face, and is part of a horizontal policy approach to creating growth and jobs in Europe. Strategic EU Guidelines provide an overall policy framework, and general rules are laid down in Council Regulation 1698/2005 establishing the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). The Regulation identifies three priority areas or 'axes':

  • improving the competitiveness of the agricultural and forestry sector
  • improving the environment and countryside
  • improving quality of life in rural areas and diversification of the rural economy

The policy on Rural Development has been strengthened through a range of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reforms, and supports a new market-oriented approach. It is delivered through National Strategy Plans and Rural Development Programmes in the Member States (at national or sub-national level).

For more details

Council Regulation 1698/2005/EC on support for Rural Development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development

Council Decision 2006/144/EC - Community Strategic Guidelines for Rural Development 2007-13

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