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- PublicationDoes EU rural expenditure correspond to regional development needs?The EU offers a complex system of rural development interventions as part of its Common Agricultural Policy. A Common Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (CMEF) has been developed for the programming period 2007–2013 in response to challenges faced with the evaluation of rural development measures in earlier programming periods. Statistical and multivariate analysis of CMEF baseline (regional characteristics) and input (expenditure) indicator data at the NUTS2 subdivision level is used to compare four typical expenditure allocation patterns (Competitiveness, Environment, Rural Viability, Equal Spending) in terms of associated regional characteristics and development trends. The results suggest expenditure priorities are generally in line with regional needs and that there are some positive development trends, for example higher increase of agricultural labour productivity in the Competitiveness Group, while for environmental topics the level of data required remains unsatisfactory for trend assessment. 17% of the regions have a budget allocation pattern deviating from other regions with similar characteristics, which could indicate ineffective priority setting. Consistent CMEF data over multiple programming periods would be desirable to support the relationships found and to facilitate time series analysis, but this seems questionable given that the European Commission has discontinued the CMEF in 2014 with further adaptations for the 2014–2020 programming period underway.
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