RDP planning

The preparation of national and regional Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) is a multiple stage process involving a number of different actors. The RDP needs to reflect the strategic objectives decided at national level and outlined in the Partnership Agreements (PAs). These in turn, build upon the Common Strategic Framework (CSF) which coordinates the intervention of the Structural and Investment Funds at the European level (for an overview of the policy framework for 2014-2020 click here).

The whole process relies on the active involvement of economic and social partners and civil society who are consulted during the preparation of both the PAs and the RDPs.

With the publication of the legislative proposals for 2014-2020 regarding the future Cohesion policy and the Common Agricultural Policy (October 2011), the European Commission marked the beginning of a process which will eventually lead to the official adoption of the 2014-2020 RDPs. See more on relevant legislation for 2014-2020 here.


It is in this context that RDP preparation takes place in EU Member States and regions. Successful RDP programming is based on strategic choices about what to support and how through: i) a thorough analysis of the context (SWOT analysis); ii) a detailed assessment of needs; iii) the definition of priorities and areas of intervention, the choice of relevant measures and the allocation of financial resources on the basis of the expected outcomes.

Partners Consultation

Look at the RDP scoreboard [PDF en] to see the state of play of RDP preparation in the Member States.

Click on the below buttons to access related ENRD and other resources, as well as technical documents from the EU and Member States in support of RDP programming.

Preparing 2014-2020 RDPs

Links to relevant ENRD work and other resources in support of strategic programming and preparation of future RDPs.

  • The Seminar on Successful Programming takes stock of the results of ENRD preparatory work for 2014-2020. The seminar focused on how the collected knowledge and experience, as well as cross-cutting priorities related to innovation, environment and climate change, can be incorporated in future RDPs. It also looked at the different steps to be undertaken to improve programme design and implementation in the next programming period. The seminar’s results and conclusions are summarised in the document “Success factors for the new Rural Development Programmes” [PDF ].
  • Workshop on Strategic programming and Monitoring and Evaluation for RDPs 2014-2020
  • Working paper on Elements of strategic programming 2014-2020 [PDF ] produced by the EC – DG Agriculture and rural development at the occasion of the ENRD seminar on “Successful Programming” EAFRD 2014-2020, Brussels 6-7 December 2012
  • Getting the most from your RDP: Guidelines for the ex-ante evaluation of 2014-2020 RDPs – Draft August 2012 [PDF ]– These guidelines from the European Evaluation Network are intended to accompany RDP Managing Authorities and evaluators in the process of planning and conducting the ex ante evaluation on 2014-2020 RDPs.
  • Coordination Committee Workshop on Financial Instruments was organised to help raise awareness amongst rural development stakeholders about the opportunities and considerations involved in creating and utilising financial instruments in rural development programmes during the next programming period (2014-2020).
  • The Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Gateway provides a variety of information on institutions, project examples and initiatives that promotes knowledge transfer and innovation in rural areas.Focus Group on Knowledge Transfer and Innovation analysed how the Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) under the current policy framework support Knowledge Transfer and Innovation in practice and provide recommendation to Member States about how promote KT&I in the next programming period.
  • Seminar "Programming innovation: How to use the Rural Development Toolkit most effectively for the implementation of the EIP", Madrid 26-27 June 2013
  • Environmental services provides link to the thematic page of Focus Group on Delivery of Environmental Services which identified aspects critical to the delivery of environmental services and offered a set of recommendations for the design and implementation of the future generation of Rural Development Programmes (2014-2020). Executive summary of the FG report [PDF ]
  • Rural Review 15: Delivering Environmental Services using Rural Development Policy (April 2013) [PDF ] is exploring how Rural Development Policy is supporting provision of environmental services in EU rural areas. It provides a “tool box” for those involved in design and implementation of 2014-2020 RDPs.
  • The ENRD Workshop on “Quality Design of Environmental and Climate Measures for 2014-2020 RDPs” was organised by the ENRD as a part of the preparatory activities for the new programming period 2014-2020. The outcomes of the workshop inform on effective assessments of needs and definition of priorities; selection of measures, design and implementation; effective delivery of environmental services.