Rural within the region: how EU regional development policy is affecting rural scotland

Leaza McSorley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper considers the ‘rural within the region’ and questions whether current EU regional policy is tackling sustainable
rural economic development adequately. The research examines the historical and theoretical underpinnings of EU regional policy and draws out the implications for rural areas within the regions. The paper considers how EU regional policy has shifted in light of EU enlargement in terms of policy, institutions and funding, and what this has meant for the rural sub-regions of older member
states and how they are adapting to change. Then the research examines how EU regional policy is being implemented in rural areas: focusing on the institutional delivery mechanisms and the funding. The changing role and influence of rural institutions, organisations, partnerships and collaborative structures in delivering sustainable economic development for rural communities. (E.g. regional development agencies community planning partnerships, and bottom-up community action) is examined. Recent developments regarding funding for regional rural development are assessed, looking at the interaction
between CAP Pillar II, LEADER and the Structural Funds Programme for 2007-13. The experience of Scotland is drawn on as a region of the UK which is predominantly rural – 98% of the geographic
area is classed as either accessible or remote rural and is home to over 20% of the region’s population. Scotland’s response to changing EU regional and rural policy is critiqued and good practice/weaknesses are identified. The paper then draws conclusions, provides recommendations and identifies areas for further investigation
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransport, Mobility and Regional Development: Regional Studies Association Winter Conference
EditorsLisa Bibby-Larsen
PublisherRegional Studies Association
ISBN (Print)9781897721339
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2008


  • European Union
  • regional policy
  • economic development
  • Scotland
  • rural communities


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