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Definition of Rural development

Rural development Definition from Government Dictionaries & Glossaries
EU English Glossary
Rural development is closely linked to the common agricultural policy (CAP) together with measures to support employment. But, traditionally uncoordinated, rural development measures and legal instruments have invariably suffered from the absence of linkage between them.

In order to make it fully coherent, Agenda 2000 set in motion the reform of the CAP. Discarding the goal of productivity to concentrate fully on quality and safety, the reform has made it possible to step up rural development measures, bringing them together in a single regulatory framework. As a result, rural development is now the second pillar of the CAP.

The financial framework for Agenda 2000, established in Berlin in 1999, allocated some EUR 45 billion each year to this second pillar for rural development measures in the period 2000-06, to be met from the EAGGF Guarantee or Guidance Section, depending on the regional context.

The instrument puts in place an integrated policy of sustainable rural development ensuring closer links between rural development and the common agricultural policy's prices and markets policy. In addition, it enables local players in a given rural area to come together around a local and integrated development strategy.

The goals pursued by rural development include:

•modernising farms;
•producing safe, quality products;
•ensuring fair and stable incomes for farmers;
•meeting environmental challenges;
•fostering supplementary or alternative job-creating activities, in a bid to halt the drift from the country and to strengthen the economic and social fabric of rural areas;
•improving living and working conditions and equal opportunities.

The rural development measures designed to meet these goals have been divided into two categories:

•flanking measures in the 1992 CAP reform: early retirement, agro-environmental measures, afforestation and the scheme for less-favoured areas;
•measures to modernise and diversify farms: investment in farms, start-up schemes for young farmers, training, support for investments in processing and marketing plants, supplementary aid for forestry, promoting and restructuring agriculture.

See:

•Agenda 2000
•Common agricultural policy (CAP)
•Economic and social cohesion
•Food safety
•Objectives 1,2 and 3

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