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Rural development is funded from the European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) established in 2005.


Prior to the formation of the Rural Development it was necessary to draw up a National Strategy Plan. This was required to take into account the European Union's Strategic Guidelines for Rural Development. These guidelines formed the framework for the rural development measures and schemes. There are six guidelines in total of which the first four themes relate to the axes within the plan. The remaining two are specific to the Lisbon and Gothenburg strategies. These, focus on economic, social and environmental factors and on longer term sustainable development.

Strategic Guidelines

  1. Improving the competitiveness of the agricultural and forestry sectors.
  2. Improving the environment and countryside.
  3. Improving the quality of life in rural areas and encouraging diversification.
  4. Building local capacity for employment and diversification.
  5. Translating priorities into programmes.
  6. Complementarity between community instruments.

The National Strategy Plan

A National Strategy Plan for the United Kingdom was produced to implement the European's Rural Development Programme. The strategy plan has a variety of annexes of which annex 3 is the Welsh chapter which sets out the priorities for Wales.

European Commission Regulations

There are two main EU regulations namely; Council Regulation (EC) 1698/2005 and Council Regulation (EC) 1974/2006. 1698/2005 focuses on the support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) 1974/2006 lays down the detailed rules for the application of regulation 1698/2005 for the Rural Development Plan (RDP) for Wales 2007-2013.

Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013

The Rural Development Plan was formally approved by the European Rural Development Committee on 20th February 2008. The diagram below shows the linkages between the EU Commission Regulations, Strategic Guidelines, National Strategy Plan, Rural Development Plan 2007-2013, Axes, Measures and Schemes.