The assessment of the rural development policy in Hesse with particular emphasis on the implementation of the Community 5b policy was the main aim of the study. The strengths and weaknesses of the Hessian 5b regions were assessed, and development trends in key indicators were derived. The implementation of the 5b programme was examined, and its impact estimated. More importantly, the question of policy options for supporting rural development was discussed with a large number of regional and local level actors. The more specific objectives related to the question of whether and how target group’ concerns and the principles of partnership, additionality and synergy (between the three funds) were handled politically, administratively and practically; and to assessment of the actual impact of the measures at the level of final beneficiaries, project and region; assessment of the degree of realisation of programme objectives and of the efficiency of sub-programmes and individual measures. Particular attention was paid to the situation and trends in the programme regions, and a wide range of economic, social and ecological as well as financial aspects (costs, benefits, additionality of funds etc.) were taken into account. The analysis examined the new Hessian approach in rural development policies and its consistency with the principles of EU rural development policies (esp. synergy and partnership). Methods used: in the studies a wide range of economic, social and ecological aspects had to be taken into account. Thus, the approach used was multidisciplinary. The main methods applied were: review of available secondary statistics and synthesis; expert consultations; household-level surveys; and case studies. The results were summarized in the form of suggestions for improvements to and better co-ordination of the existing measures. It was found that the Hessian method of village renewal and the support of product innovations and marketing alternatives (to support direct marketing) were successful to a high degree and had positive effects on the participating families and on the creation of new jobs. An input was provided for both, the final annual report and the final monitoring report of the Commission. Understanding of policy options at the regional level was improved and a framework for further action sketched out. Suggestions for improvements in Phase II and, generally, better co-ordination of existing measures in Objective 5b areas were made. The establishment of an office for rural development (BfLRE) in one region was proposed and discussed with relevant decision-makers.
|Evaluation | Rural areas ||
European Commission, Directorate-General for Agriculture
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