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Rural Development Policy Overview

Axes & Measures

The programmes [click here for more information] are built around four axes.

To ensure a balanced strategy, a minimum funding for each thematic axis is required. The proposed minimum funding percentages of 10 %, 25 % and 10 % respectively for axis 1, 2 and 3 are a safeguard to ensure that each programme reflects at least the three main policy objectives, but the percentages are set sufficiently low to leave Member States or regions a high margin of flexibility (55 % of EU funding) to emphasize the policy axis they wish in function of their situation and needs. For the LEADER axis a minimum of 5 % (2.5 % for the new Member States) of the EU funding for each programme is reserved. The LEADER expenditure counts for the three policy axes.

The policy (as defined in Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005) provides a set of tools (measures) from which all Member States can choose and for which they can receive EU financial support to implement integrated Rural Development Programmes. Each axis is implemented through this menu of measures.

Axis 1: to improve the competitiveness of the agricultural and forestry sector including a range of measures that target human and physical capital in the agriculture, food and forestry sectors (promoting knowledge transfer and innovation) and quality production.

To see all Axis 1 measures click here.

Axis 2: to improve the environment and the countryside, providing measures to protect and enhance natural resources, as well as preserving high value farming and forestry systems and cultural landscapes in Europe’s rural areas.

To see all Axis 2 measures click here.

Axis 3: to enhance the quality of life in rural areas and diversification of the rural economy, offering support develop local infrastructure and human capital in rural areas, to improve the conditions for growth and job creation in all sectors and the diversification of economic activities.

To see all Axis 3 measures click here.

Axis 4: based on the LEADER experience, introduces possibilities for innovative governance through locally based, bottom-up approaches to rural development. Read more about LEADER.

To see all Axis 4 measures click here.