The social attributes that agriculture is assumed to provide in its multifunctional role are analysed. Links with structural characteristics are examined and questions raised on the extent to which these are dependent on sustaining the present structure of EU agriculture. The nature of an efficient policy to provide these attributes is explored, with pointers for the next round of rural development policy. Our conclusion is that non-agricultural policies may be far more significant to the supply of social attributes than those conventionally seen as agricultural and rural developmental, suggesting that general community regeneration policies and "rural proofing" of general policies will be important for the future.


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