Complexity and variable uptake of CAP (Pillar 2) measures and rural diversity of the EU provide significant challenges for evaluation. The rationale of indepth case study analysis as an essential complement to formal evaluation techniques is illustrated with comparative studies of employment impacts of Pillar Two policies in 6 rural areas in different EU member states. Recommendations arising include accelerated shifts from commodity support to measures strengthening non-farm sectors of the rural economy, whilst retaining support for farming adaptation; use of clear structural indicators and local expertise to determine priorities; and integration of Pillar Two policies with other measures in consistent, spatially nested Action Plans for Rural Development which set targets for improvement in economic and demographic performance.


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