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The Future of Rural Policy From Sectoral to Place-Based Policies in Rural Areas Endogenous and sustainable development in rural areas

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The shift in the dominant concepts of rural development favouring sustainability and endogenous approaches is notably linked to the diversification from primary sectors towards industry and services that is taking place in a majority of rural areas. Given the volatility of branch plant investment and the vulnerability of small firms in the rural context, sustainability of communities is increasingly a concern. Not only is the focus on local development related to the need to embed investment in the territory, it is also pertinent to the necessity to better tap rural resources, notably territorial capital and amenities. Thus far, this focus has been weak and rural policies have remained ancillary to agricultural policy; however, this is changing. For example, the EU has set up many measures in support of rural development in the second pillar of the European Common Agricultural Policy. Moreover, there is a need to rethink traditional agricultural policies due to their rural insignificance and to avoid negative side effects. As these traditional policies are dominated by commodity market interventions, they cause major market distortions but have limited leverage on rural development. In addition, these agricultural policies do not score well on equity grounds since they benefit mainly large farms, which are usually well off in terms of income and assets. They contribute little to rural poverty alleviation and to the maintenance of the rural environment...

Page Count: 129
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2003-06-01

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