The politics of rural development in Europe
This paper explores the evolution of rural policies in EU, making some comparisons with CEE rurality. In the first chapter I explore some theoretical concepts on how policies are transferred from one country to another, what a policy paradigm means and how it might change over time with special reference to the changing conceptualisation of rural development. The rest of the paper is based on literature review; document analysis; and interviews and experiences gathered at the European level. In the second chapter an account is given of how the modernisation paradigm prevalent in EU and CEE rural policies has been eroded during recent decades, and what the expression ‘rural development’ might mean for various actors and stakeholders of this story. Then I analyse some early documents of the SAPARD programme, to show the original intentions of EU policy makers at the beginning of the pre-accession preparation. In the last chapter I make some conclusions on the EU’s strategy for eastern enlargement and its possible implications for the evolution of European rural policies.
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