In the past two decades, rural policy has undergone significant developments. According to the principal conclusions of the international conference, The Future of Rural Policy, the major shift necessary to guarantee the future vitality of rural regions is the diversification of their economies. This conference, held in Siena, Italy on 10-13 July 2002, identified the need for rural policies to go beyond agriculture and offer new trajectories of development for rural areas. The end result is a new approach to rural areas that recognises the importance of the interdependence between rural and urban areas, mobilises investment (rather than distributing subsidies) and expands the definition of countryside.
Additional OECD Publications on Rural Issues