CCRI co-lead on European rural report

CCRI researchers Janet Dwyer and Katarina Kubinkova contributed to a substantive new report for the European Commission which explored funding for rural areas in the European Union.

Entitled ‘Funding for EU Rural Areas’, Janet and Katarina were working with ÖIR research consultants in Austria (co-lead), CREA Agricultural Economics Institute in Italy and ADE S.A. consultancy in Belgium. Janet who acted as co-lead, provided a strategic lead in respect of the report’s final conclusions and recommendations. Arndt Münch from ÖIR led the overall management of the study.

The report provides an overview of the extent to which EU funding under the CAP, as well as EU Structural Funds, are targeting and meeting rural areas’ needs, measured by a wide variety of indicators. Findings are presented in a range of formats such as thematic maps and charts highlighting how money is allocated and spent. The analysis covers past spending and considers current and future prospects in line with the EU’s ‘Long Term Vision for Rural Areas (LTVRA)’.

A total of twelve case studies were conducted by the project team covering both national and regional levels for the larger Member States, collating information on approaches to rural development. Two of these countries, Ireland and France are key trading partners for the UK within the EU. Other case studies were conducted in Bulgaria, Czechia, Germany, Spain, Croatia, Italy, Austria, Portugal, Romania and Finland.

A colourful thematic map of Europe. The map shows a range of areas and how 'rural' they are
An example of thematic maps used in the report

Although this study looked at EU countries, Janet Dwyer points out that there is an important high level message for the UK. She said “we found that a higher public funding priority is given to rural areas and their needs in the EU, than they get in England: overall, per capita spends increas, the further you go into more remote rural areas away from major cities, whereas in England the funding pattern is the reverse, even though it often costs more to provide the same services in rural areas.”

Katarina Kubinakova led the Ireland and Czechia case studies and has substantial experience within EU rural research commented, “funding associated with rural areas across the EU is an incredibly complex area. A major component of this study is the widespread use of maps to illustrate where and how funding streams are distributed. We [the research team] believe that this is a particularly effective way to present the findings associated with our analysis.”

The European Commission have published a news article covering the report. This can be read on the DG Agri section of the Commission’s website.

Several documents associated with the research are available: