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Integrated Rural Development Programmes and Projects: An Assessment of the Italian case

Francesco, Mantino (2006): Integrated Rural Development Programmes and Projects: An Assessment of the Italian case.

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It must be recognised that many of the most innovative forms of public intervention in the economy and in social areas are the result of EU policies, including the impulse that these have produced in the regards of national and regional policies. A good example comes from the programmes deriving from European Commission initiatives (INTERREG, LEADER, URBAN, EQUAL, etc.), which have introduced completely new tools, objectives, intervention methods and procedures previously unknown within the framework of policies for national or regional development. The innovative impact that these forms of EU intervention, which originated from specific initiatives of the Commission, have had on the traditional framework of national and regional policies has been considerable, and in many cases even devastating, in that it brought to light the deficiencies, the difficulties and the true and proper incapacity of the internal administrative structure to keep pace with the new and more modern conceptions of public intervention. In those places where the terrain were more fertile and ready to incorporate these new models, they have taken root and been embodied within national and regional policies. Sometimes these new approaches have been financed by regions with their own resources. In such context a growing interest has been focused on integrated programmes and projects. We find that the concept of integrated policies for rural areas, as for every kind of area, is one of the most great challenges of the European, national and regional intervention. In this paper we will try to answer to the following questions: a) which are the main types of integrated policies for rural areas in Italy; b) which are the principal features of the integrated approach in these policies; c) which factors can explain the success or even the lack of success in the Italian context; d) which implications there can be for the implementation in other contexts.

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