Paper aims analysing the situation of rural areas of Lithuania as well as support got from the budget of European Union facilitating the development of rural areas. Paper comprises three chapters. The rural areas are of substantial importance in terms of both surface area and population. At the beginning of 2002, the rural areas covered 63.6 thousand sq. km. This equalled 97.4 % of the total Lithuanian surface area. In 2003, the rural population was estimated at 1,145 million inhabitants. At the end of 2001 the total rural working population made up to 30 per cent of total Lithuanian employment, while agriculture, forestry and fishery employment rate was estimated at 17,8 per cent. Since Lithuania has joined the European Union in May 2004, population of rural areas starting to receive significant financial aid from the European budget. Largest share of EU financiers is going to be redistributed as the direct payments constituting in 2004 55 per cent of EU level. Programmes and finances, targeted directly to support the rural development, are considered in the so-called programming documents, prepared by the Government and approved by the European Commission.


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