Rural development support 2007-13
Support for rural development in 2007-13 evolved from supporting structural adjustment in agriculture to better reflecting the multiple role of farming in the wider rural context. Policy put a greater emphasis on implementing a coherent strategy for rural development across the EU as a whole, with a focus on three themes in particular:
- improving the competitiveness of the agricultural and forestry sector;
- improving the environment and the countryside;
- improving the quality of life in rural areas and encouraging diversification of the rural economy.
Rural development support 2000-06
Rural development became the second pillar of the CAP in 2000, introduced as part of the Agenda 2000 reform and bringing together various pre-existing structural and territorial measures under a common umbrella. Rural development support during this period focused on:
- the multifunctionality of agriculture, recognising its varied role over and above the production of foodstuffs and the range of services provided by farmers;
- a multisectoral and integrated approach to the rural economy in order to diversify activities, create new sources of employment and protect rural heritage;
- flexible aids based on subsidiarity and promoting decentralisation, consultation at regional, local and partnership level;
- transparency in drawing up and managing programmes, based on simplified and more accessible legislation.