This paper presents a preliminary evaluation of the 21 Rural Development Programs (RDPs) of the Italian regions and Autonomous provinces. A quantitative analysis of the Italian RDPs will be carried out investigating the distribution of the European Agricultural Funds for Rural Development, considering national and regional co-financing, in order to highlight the different allocation of funds between axes and measures across the regions. To support quantitative analysis a qualitative investigation, and related methodology, will be presented and applied to three Italian regions. This combined methodology allows a gathering of different aspects of rural development policy, thus to reveal the objectives pursued by the regions often hidden “between the lines” of the RDP texts.


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