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Rural Development Policy Overview

National and Regional Programmes

EU Member States implement rural development programmes, choosing from 41 “measures” that suit their needs.

An introduction to Rural Development Programmes (RDPs)

Each Member State implements the rural development policy for the period 2007-2013 through its Rural Development Programme(s) (RDP). A Member State may have either a single programme for its entire territory or a set of regional programmes.

RDPs are consistent with the common EU Strategic Guidelines (click here for more details) and by each Member State’s National Strategy Plan (click here for more details).

To find out more about individual Member State Rural Development Programmes visit our interactive map and select the country in which you are interested.
Whether a Member State has a single programme or a set of regional programmes, each Rural Development Programme includes:

  • An analysis of the situation in rural areas in terms of strengths and weaknesses and the strategy chosen to meet them;
  • A justification of the priorities chosen, with regard to the EU strategic guidelines and the national strategy plan, as well as the expected impact;
  • Information on the axes and measures proposed for each axis and their description, including the specific verifiable objectives and indicators that allow the programme’s progress, efficiency and effectiveness to be measured;
  • A financing plan, including details of the total EAFRD contribution and the matching national/regional public finding planned for each year and for the entire programming period for each axis + an indicative breakdown of the initial amounts by measure;
  • Information on the complementarity with the measures financed by the other common agricultural policy instruments, through cohesion policy, as well as by the Community support instrument for fisheries;
  • Details of the Programme-implementing arrangements, including the designation of all the relevant authorities and a summary description of the management and control structures;
  • A description of the monitoring and evaluation systems, as well as the composition of the Monitoring Committee;
  • Details of plans to ensure that the programme is publicised.

The rural development policy framework offers a ‘menu’ of 41 measures. Member States choose from this menu those measures that suit the needs of their rural areas best. These are then included in their national or regional programmes. The EU contribution to the financing of measures depends on the measure and the region concerned. For more details on RDP measures, see Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 of 20 September 2005 (support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

For more details on individual measures by Axis click on the following links:

For details on implementing rules, click here (Commission Regulation (EC) No 1974/2006 of 15 December 2006).
Member States may also modify and update their programmes during the implementation period (2007-2013) to respond to changes in the environment and the wider rural economy. This may result in adjustments within and between the axes and measures.