How rural is the EU RDP? An analysis through spatial fund allocation

Beatrice Camaioni, Roberto Esposti, Antonello Lobianco, Francesco Pagliacci, Franco Sotte


Although representing less than 20% of total CAP expenditure, the Rural Development Policy (RDP) 2007-2013 is supposed to support rural areas which are facing new challenges. Currently, many EU rural areas are experiencing major transformations and the traditional urban-rural divide seems outdated (OECD, 2006). Going beyond dichotomous definitions and approaches, the paper applies at EU NUTS 3 level a new composite and comprehensive measure of rurality and peripherality (the PeripheRurality Indicator, PRI): the higher this index, the more rural and peripheral a given region is. Within a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) approach, this indicator takes into account both conventional socio-economic indicators and the relevant geographical characteristics of the region. On the basis of this analysis, the paper also puts forward a clusterisation of NUTS 3 regions across Europe and assesses the correlation between the RDP expenditure intensity, the PRI and the different regional clusters. This analysis is aimed at assessing the coherence of RDP fund allocation with the real characteristics of EU rural space.


rurality and peripherality; EU rural development policy; multivariate analysis

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