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Rural environments are very important for the sustainable development of European Union territories. This can be easily proven by the consecutive and extraordinary amount of funding programs for the agricultural sector in the last fifty years. Furthermore, since beginning of the nineties, small scale policies have been put forward to involve local communities in rural territories in the design and implementation of development actions with European funds. This idea of promoting bottom-up action is in line with EU foundational principle of subsidiary of always going to the lowest possible level to tackle problems.
Nevertheless, this dichotomy within the governance context, between European and nationally designed policies and programs on the one hand, and actions designed at the local level on the other hand, creates a potential problem that requires further research. Moreover, different parts of Europe with their varying cultural contexts and administrative legacies imply that the bottom-up approach may work in different ways in these territories. This fact justified the launching of the COST C27 Action whose main objective is to explore, assess and improve the different policy options geared to sustainable development that are open to small deprived communities. The above mentioned problem of dichotomy problem may require the re-design of existing policies and programs.
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The Policy Perspective: from Partnership to Multilevel Governance
Research Perspectives on Participation
1) A Framework Programme Model as Driving Force in Regional Development
2) Intangible Results from Italian and Finnish LEADER Programmes
3) Funding Programmes for Douro Valley and their Aftermath
4) A Local Action Group in a Deprived Hungarian Region
5) Community, Migrants and Local Government as Partners
6) Involvement and Sustainability in a Biosphere Reserve
7) Koli National Park: a Cultural Attitude
8) Alto Garda Regional Park: Balance and Cooperation
9) Public Participation in a Plan for Environmental Protection in Spain
10) A mining community disappearing in a (w)hole ?
(a cura di) Juha Kotilainen, Julia M. Lourenco, Rebecka Nolmark, Jan Sahlen, Kristina Nilsson