Rural development is part of the rural policy area. The objective of rural policy is ecologically, economically and socially sustainable rural development.
Rural policy contains a variety of different tools that must all work together in order to make it possible to achieve good results for rural areas. These tools are:
- The Rural Development Programme
- Measures for agriculture in northern Sweden
- Measures for environmental improvement in agriculture
Most of the activities take place within the framework of multi-annual programmes, primarily the Rural Development Programme. Sweden is covered by the EU Common Agricultural Policy since becoming a member in 1995. An initial Swedish environmental programme was approved by the Riksdag and by the European Commission in August of the same year. A number of structural and rural measures were introduced and various programmes implemented to promote rural development. The current Rural Development Programme extends from 2007-2013.