Centre for Rural Economy


Foresight Analysis for Rural areas Of Europe (FARO)

Rural development is the result of complex, dynamic processes which are determined by a range of driving forces, including demographic, socio-economic, technological and environmental change.

As a result, the future evolution of rural areas in the EU is highly uncertain. There is a continuing need to know: what are major trends and driving forces affecting rural regions? At which scales do these processes operate? Which of these processes are amenable to change through rural development policies? How might rural policies be adapted in the future to take account of these processes? The results of FARO EU helped to answer these questions. The project analysed patterns and trends of a selection of rural territorial indicators. The particular role and relevance of forms of governance and ICT and their effectiveness were assessed. A set of scenarios representing a full range of rural areas’ driving forces were produced. Scenarios were: (a) quantified through a chain of economic, environmental and land use models; (b) qualified by SWOT analysis; and (c) tested in different case study areas. The project involved stakeholders in rural development and policy makers at the national and EU levels in several workshops. Final recommendations were aimed at improving the effectiveness of rural development policies for Europe.