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The European Commission Perspective on Rural Development: Integrating New Trends into Multi-sectoral Approaches

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Rural development thinking has changed. The increased focus of governments and donors on the reduction of poverty, combined with the large concentration of poverty in rural areas, has helped revive a concept characterised by lack of policy focus, over-complicated structures and, ultimately, poor results and elusive sustainability. The European Commission has reviewed its rural policy to increase the poverty focus and encompass new development concepts and practices such as empowerment, participation, and decentralisation. A new approach has emerged which links national and international levels of intervention into a single operational framework. The article argues that a strategic framework is necessary but in itself not sufficient to ensure greater effectiveness.
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Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: Rural Development Policy Specialist, Rural Development and Environment Policy Unit, Directorate General for Development, European Commission

Publication date: December 1, 2001

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