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Rural Development Policy Overview

National Strategies

An introduction to National Strategy Plans (NSPs)

Each Member State has developed its own National Strategy Plan (NSP) for rural development, based upon the EU Strategic Guidelines, that take full account of the specific circumstances and needs in their country. To find out more about individual Member State Strategies visit our interactive map and select the country in which you are interested.

National Strategy Plans (NSP) are intended to provide a reference tool for preparing EAFRD programming. The strategies are implemented through Rural Development Programmes either for the country or, for some Member States, for specific administrative regions.

The national strategies help to:

  • Identify the areas where the use of EU support for rural development adds the most value;
  • Make the link with the main EU priorities, including those set out under the Lisbon agenda (strategy for growth and jobs) and Göteborg agenda (sustainability goals);
  • Ensure consistency with other EU policies, in particular those for economic cohesion and the environment;
  • Assist the implementation of the new market-oriented CAP and the necessary restructuring it will entail in the old and new Member States.

The National Strategy Plans include:

  • An evaluation of the economic, social and environmental situation and the potential for development;
  • The strategy chosen for joint action by the EU and the Member State concerned, showing the consistency of the choices made with the EU strategic guidelines;
  • The thematic and territorial priorities for rural development under each axis, including the main quantified objectives and the appropriate monitoring and evaluation indicators;
  • A list of the rural development programmes implementing the national strategy plan and an indicative EAFRD allocation for each programme;
  • The means to ensure coordination with the other common agricultural policy instruments and if appropriate, the budget for achieving Convergence Objectives;
  • A description of the arrangements and budget for establishing the national rural network in the Member State.