European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)

Any donor
European Union
Geographical focus: 
Thematic focus: 
Tourism in general
Infrastructure in Tourism
Tourism and Culture
Trade, Investment and Competitiveness in Tourism
Sustainability of natural resources in Tourism
Intro text: 
The EAFRD aims, among other things, at promoting economic development in rural areas. It is administered by the European Commission, DG Agriculture and Rural Development.

Official website

Geographic focus

European Union

Who can apply?

Any natural or legal person active in rural areas within the EU Member States.

Objectives and activities

Objective: Rural Development funding helps to improve the competitiveness of farming and forestry, to protect the environment and the countryside, to improve the quality of life, to  diversify  the rural economy and to support locally-based approaches to rural development.

Activities: Depending on the needs and choices of each Member State, support may be granted to:

  • Diversification of farmers into non-agricultural activities;
  • Development of non-agricultural SMEs in rural areas and engaged in sustainable and responsible tourism;
  • Restoration/upgrading of the cultural and natural heritage of villages and rural landscapes.

Recent Projects include, among others:

  • Eco-tourism and environmental education in Thessaloniki (Greece); and
  • Promoting Green Tourism in Rural Areas (Italy, Hongary).

Type and level of funding

Under the 2014-2020 rural development policy, the EU will contribute over € 95 billion to investments in Member States. The EAFRD is implemented in shared management between the Member States and the Union. This means among others that  the Commission does not  make payments directly to the beneficiaries of aid; this task is delegated to the Member States.

Besides grants awarded following calls for proposals, the Agriculture and Rural Development Directorate-General also concludes public procurement contracts for the provision of services. These contracts are concluded following calls for tender.