RUFUS: RUral FUture networks

RUFUS: RUral FUture networks

The objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) have now extended well beyond support to agriculture, and there is much attention on the multifunctional nature of rural areas beyond agriculture. This in turns brings the CAP into closer association with a wide range of other policy regimes (e.g. regional policy, spatial planning, environmental management, social policy, tourism, transport, energy policy). These sectoral regimes interact in complex ways; sometimes mutually reinforcing, sometimes contradicting each other, and with a determining effect on the territorial spatial sustainable development of rural areas. The EU 7th framework project RUFUS (Rural Future Net-works) investigated the interaction of policies in rural areas. It considered interaction across sectors and across government jurisdictions, vertically in the system of multilevel governance, and spatially across territorial jurisdictions. The research project aimed at understanding the combined effect of many policies on rural development and the scope for more integrated policy to address the specific endogenous potential of regions for more sustainable rural development.

The TU Delft team was responsible for the Work Package 2 (knowledge management). Three main concepts were defined: multi-functionality, policy integration, and territorial capital. These concept were elaborated in ten case studies. The TU Delft team conducted two of the case studies in rural areas with very different drivers for rural development: Somerset in the UK and Kop van Noord-Holland in the Netherlands. The aim was to reveal the relationships among policies on horizontal, vertical, and geographical dimensions, and to explain how, in combination, they affect these two specific regions at the local level. The perceived need for policy integration, the mechanisms employed, and their effectiveness, vary according to local drivers for rural development and institutional arrangements, but both cases raise questions about the quality of integration of EU rural development policy and agriculture with other policy sectors.

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Written by Akkelies van Nes


Typology of Rural Regions - RUFUS Final Report Summary