Rural development in the EU
Keywords:Economic development of rural areas, Overall economic development and EU rural development policy
AbstractThis article analyses the evolution of European rural regional economies and the Community’s public regional policies, with a view to drawing lessons for other areas of the world, especially Latin America. After presenting relative size data for the EU regions based on population, territory, employment and income, the article analyses the key economic and social trends in these areas, together with the underlying explanatory factors. The main conclusion is that the economic development of the rural regions of the EU is much more due to the overall national economic development issues, than to rural development policies. Therefore, the way to achieve rural development is by means of a good overall economic development policy, and national policies are more determining than EU-wide policies in the overall economic development of the EU member states. The article finishes with a summary of the lessons to be learnt from EU rural development policy, which suggest the need for radical policy change based on a reduction in the agricultural component coupled with an increase in the territorial and environmental components.
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