Phase 1:

After a literature review on the different domains, ETUDE will load its preliminary conceptual framework with empirical experiences and lessons from 65 rural development cases across Europe. As a whole the Quick Scan analysis of this set of cases enables to improve insights around following questions:

  • Which empirical developments regarding the six domains can be distinguished?
  • To what extent and in which ways do developments in one specific domain have an impact on other domains?
  • To what extent are interrelations between domains influenced by policy arrangements?
  • To what extent do specific domains as well as interactions between domains strengthen the 'web' of interrelations and positive mutual externalities within rural societies?
  • How do different empirical domain interactions influence the competitiveness of rural economies and the quality of rural life?

Phase 2:

The second phase of ETUDE tests the conceptual framework in depth by selecting 12 regions that encompass different types of rural areas. It will be examined how different domains are interlinked, how different domains affect the structure of rural societies and economies and which activities are undertaken or lacking to improve the competitiveness of rural economies and the quality of life of rural areas. This reflection will be carried out in interaction with stakeholders, amongst others through the organisation of regional workshops. Subsequently, comparative analysis will result in a better understanding of strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats of different rural development approaches in different regional settings.

Phase 3:

In the third phase ETUDE will work on policy recommendations for different administrative levels. Following questions will be leading in this process:

  • Which rural policies may support the different domains of the conceptual model?
  • What are the most adequate institutional frameworks to activate and to sustain rural development processes?
  • What may be the role of increased levels of local self regulation and under which conditions will that function well?

During a second series of 12 regional workshops strategies to improve rural development potentials will be discussed.