The accession of ten countries from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has dramatically increased the rural population and territory of the European Union (EU). The success of EU enlargement will thus depend to a significant extent on the resources of rural areas in the NMS and the ability of rural policy (EU and national level) to ameliorate the socio-economic problems that are acute in many of these countries. This paper evaluates the introduction of EU Rural Development Policy in the NMS and is organised as follows. Section 2 presents a brief overview of the evolution of the Second Pillar of the CAP and its transfer to the NMS. Section 3 outlines the emerging agendas and choices made regarding rural policy in the NMS, highlighting similarities and differences with the EU15. Concluding remarks concerning the appropriateness of EU rural development policy are drawn in Section 4.