As part of the fundamental reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which started in 2003, rural development policy has also been reviewed. The Commission conducted a thorough analysis of rural development (RD) policy, including an Extended Impact Assessment of future RD policy and made a proposal in July 2004. In September 2005, the Council adopted a reformed rural development policy for the period 2007-2013, which is characterized by 'continuity and change'.
It continues to provide a menu of measures from which the Member States can choose and for which they receive Community financial support in the context of integrated RD programmes. It changes the way these programmes are developed by fostering the strategic content and the sustainable development of rural areas. For that purpose the future RD policy focuses on the three commonly agreed core policy areas (axes):
- Improving the competitiveness of agriculture and forestry
- Supporting land management and improving environment and
- Improving the quality of life and encouraging diversification of economic activities.
Click here to view the full Press Release