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Brussels, 23 May 2007

SWEDEN - Rural Development plan

Country profile:


  • Modern and effective production in agriculture, forestry and food industry (high quality production, respect of environment and animal welfare, in line with consumer demand)
  • Key role of farming and forestry in transition to sustainable development
  • High natural and cultural values in landscape and clean environment
  • Great resources in nature and landscape and social capital with potential as basis for enterprises and better quality of life


  • Entrepreneurship and employment are less diverse in rural areas than in urban ones
  • Many less favoured areas and areas where landscapes and biodiversity are threatened by changes in production methods, land use and social development
  • Strong climate differences, sparse structures, vast distances, decreasing population in rural areas
  • Lack of services and infrastructure in rural areas

Strategy chosen to respond to the strengths and weaknesses

Stimulate self-employment and entrepreneurship in farming and other sectors in rural areas, preserve and develop natural and cultural values of the landscape and strengthen the conditions for economic development and quality of life in rural areas.

Financial aid of € 3 917 million of which € 1 826 million is EU financed (47 %) for Sweden and has been allocated to Sweden's Rural Development Programs for the period 2007- 20013.

Total public
(in € million)
% of EAFRD*
contribution rate
(in € million)
Share (%)**
Axis 1
Axis 2
2 702
1 261
Axis 3
3 917
1 826

* EAFRD: European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development
** including LEADER
*** TA stands for technical assistance for the implementation of the programmes.


Overall the programme aims at the economically, socially and ecologically sustainable development of rural areas.

  • A sustainable development and a sustainable use of natural resources in accordance with the adopted environmental objectives form a general basis for the programme. Agriculture, forestry etc. have great potential for resource efficient production with minimal environmental impact and have a key role in the transformation to a sustainable development of society, incl. energy supply.
  • Farmers are crucial in their role as land managers and as producers of public goods in nature and to preserve and develop an attractive, open landscape, where grazing on pastureland is one central priority.
  • The production of food with special properties or added value should be developed. There is growing consumer demand for organic products. Local, regional and/or small-scale production and processing in the food and other sectors is an important component in the search for enhanced business activity in rural areas deriving from agriculture and forestry, etc. Quality production that is regional or traditional in origin may constitute a part of this.
  • The development of new goods and services production connected with agriculture and forestry and other enterprises in rural areas is important for the broadening of the economic base and for promoting further growth opportunities in rural areas. Priority areas are renewable energy, tourism and recreation, service trade and contract work.
  • Knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurship are to be supported. It is also important to strengthen knowledge transfer from universities and other higher education and research institutions. We need measures that enable the transfer of relevant research findings to advisers and farmers.
  • There are a number of groups, including young people, women and people of foreign ethnic origin, who are underrepresented in the agriculture and forestry sectors. These groups are needed in the land-based industries, not just to boost equality but also to improve the economic and social life of rural areas.

The Axis 1 budget allocation of the EAFRD corresponds to € 278 million (15.5 %). It aims at encouraging competitiveness among enterprises in the agricultural and forestry, reindeer herding and food production and processing sectors, on the basis of the sustainable use of natural resources.

The Axis 2 budget allocation of the EAFRD corresponds to € 1 260 million (71 %), main priorities are to:

  • preserve and develop an attractive landscape and living countryside, stimulate the adjustment to resource-efficient and sustainable production with reduced environmental impact in order to help achieve EU and national environmental objectives as effectively as possible.

Axis 3 budget allocation of the EAFRD corresponds to € 147 million (12 %). This funding is dedicated to encourage diversification of the rural economy in order to promote employment, better quality of life of rural inhabitants and sustainable use of the combined resources of the country side. The axis is crucial for the programme to foster good overall development of rural areas.

Leader budget allocation of the EAFRD refers to € 105 million and aims at promoting the efficient implementation of the rural development programme through local support, active participation and cooperation on local level (Leader approach). The method should be applied throughout the country.

See also:

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