No A līdz Z
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).