Placing agriculture within rural development: evidence from EU case studies
In the light of four competing models for rural development (agrarian, exogenous, endogenous, and neo-endogenous) we evaluate the relationship between agriculture, agricultural policy, and rural development in five regions in established EU member states: Borders, Midlands, and Western Region (Ireland), Navarra (Spain), Tyrol (Austria), Skåne (Sweden), and Altmark (Germany). Evidence suggests that both the agrarian and exogenous models are anachronistic. However, the Common Agricultural Policy remains closest to the agrarian model of rural development, and in its current form fails to promote a wider rural and territorial development. The LEADER programme, which is often perceived as a viable alternative approach to rural development, fits most closely with the neo-endogenous rather than with the endogenous model. Nevertheless, for EU policy to fully embody the neo-endogenous model a far more fundamental reform of the CAP would be required than that agreed in the wake of the Health Check.
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