The European Commission’s Communication of 2010 concerning the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2013 notes that a priority for the CAP will be: “the balanced territorial development of rural areas throughout the EU by empowering people in local areas, building capacity and improving local conditions and links between rural and urban areas.
Rural development approaches associated with finding such balanced territorial development can benefit from to taking account of key issues such as:
- Urban areas are important markets and service centres for rural businesses.
- Europe’s countryside is popular among urban populations.
- Rural areas around towns and cities can experience environmental pressures from urban development, ‘honey-pot’ recreation and commuting.
Integrated policy approaches at the regional scale can create positive results from considering and addressing the various dynamics of urban-rural relationships. Results can lead to sustainable regional development approaches which take proper and balanced accounts of both rural and urban areas.