Print version ISSN 0120-9965
GALLARDO-COBOS, Rosa. Rural development in the European Union: the concept and the policy. Agron. colomb. [online]. 2010, vol.28, n.3, pp. 464-470. ISSN 0120-9965.
Rural areas are key elements that underpin the social and economic European territory and shape its landscape. The rural setting is a dynamic concept, able to distinguish three stages on how the European Union (EU) understands rural: rural as image, rural as local, and rural as a social construction. The evolution of the concept is reflected in the need to adapt the approach used to address rural issues, and consequently the political design for rural development. Thus, under the term Rural Development, the EU has included and mixed very different issues, supporting measures and equally heterogeneous financial instruments. For the purpose of supporting the European rural world the two main EU policies have come together: the agricultural and the regional policies. So, Rural Development in the EU has been navigating between the sectorial policy and the territorial policy. At a time of redefinition of European priorities and policies for 2013, territorial cohesion, rural/urban articulation, social partnership, institutional cooperation, environmental sustainability, and governance (flexible and multilevel) are the fundamental elements upon which a policy should rest that is addressed to ensure the existence of a living countryside, inhabitable and friendly environment.
Keywords : rural; rural territories; territorial development; rural development policies.