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Brussels, 26th June 2008

Rural development plans in Spain: National rural network (Programa de la Red Rural Nacional 2007-2013)

Country profile for Spain

Size: 504 411 km²

Population: 44, 5 millions inhabitants (density: 88 inhabitants/ km²)

GDP per capita: 19 480 € (average years 2000-2002)

Rural areas cover 91.3 % of the Spanish territory and about 20% of the population live in these areas. The Spanish situation is characterized by important territorial discrepancies, mainly between the interior and the coastal areas.

Globally speaking, about 50 % of the total surface area of Spain is utilised as agricultural land (25.2 million ha), 75% of which are classified as LFA, whilst 10.47 million ha are covered by forests. Around 15% of agricultural land is irrigated consuming about 75% of the total Spanish water consumption.

Stopping rural depopulation is the biggest challenge for Spain, given that a large area of the territory suffers from problems of depopulation, mainly due to poor living conditions resulting from topography, climate or scarcity of water, among other causes. The primary sector (agriculture, hunting and forestry) constitutes the main source for maintaining population and employment in the rural areas.

Chosen strategy corresponding to the profile

Due to its structure, Spain implements the rural development policy through rural development programmes (RDP) established basically at regional level by the Autonomous Communities. In this respect, 17 regional and 2 horizontal programs (the National Framework and the Rural Network drafted at national level) have been elaborated. The National Framework Programme, which doesn't dispose of a budget, was adopted by the Commission on the 28th November 2007.

Spain will implement the national network ("Red Rural Nacional") through a network programme at national level. The work of the national network will address the whole rural Spanish territory.

The action plan of the Spanish network programme referred to in article 68 (2) b) of Regulation (EC) 1698/2005 will include the following:

  • Improving the implementation of the 2007-2013 regional RDP's through
  • Strengthening the programming and implementation capabilities of the regions through exchange of experiences and know how, studies and analysis of the evolution of RD programming in all Spain;
  • Improved governance through support for coordination of activities, training;
  • Identification, analysis and transfer of good practices;
  • Management of the network.
  • Improve the bottom up-rural development skills of rural areas through
  • Technical assistance for the acquisition of skills of actors implied in rural development;
  • Technical Assistance for coordinating and optimising Inter-territorial and trans-national cooperation
  • Technical assistance and coordination activities for promoting the realisation of innovative pilot projects.
  • Promoting knowledge about the rural world through
  • Transfer of rural values, RD policy, experience and knowledge to society.

The share of funding for the whole period is shown in the table below:

Financial table for the whole programming period (EUR current prices)

Type of expenditure for the national rural network
Total public expenditure
EAFRD contribution
(a) for running the structure of the national rural network
(b) for implementing the action plan of the national rural network, including its evaluation

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