The rural area is the subject of numerous political measures at both the individual state level and the European and international levels. The three main fields of action for the Rural Development policy are as follows:
Axis 1: improving the competitiveness of agriculture and forestry;
Axis 2: Improving the environment and the countryside;
Axis 3: Improving the quality of life in rural areas and encouraging diversification of economic activity.
To evaluate the sustainable development of rural areas in meeting economic, social and environmental challenges, it is necessary to create a comprehensive set of indicators which reflect these political measures and/or are of relevance to these particular aspects.
As part of an initial pilot project - based on agreements (grants) between EUROSTAT and the individual member states - data on specific indicators is to be collated and processed according to two approaches for rural areas (OECD approach and EUROSTAT approach), with as deep a regional level (NUTS) as possible. During the pilot project’s initial phase, only indicators from the third axis (PDF, 321KB) are to be taken into account, with indicators from axes 1 and 2 to be integrated at a later stage.
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