WILL AN INTERNATIONAL DEFINITION OF A RURAL AREA IN EUROPE BE FORMULATED?
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Theoretical definition of rural areas constitutes a classical subject of academic studies in the field of geography. However, this definition also begins to assume the role of a more and more indispensable instrument that is used for the purpose of assessment of the policy of development of rural areas at the national and European level. The aim of this paper is to present a comparative review of the latest official definitions of a rural area that are used in over thirty European countries in order to characterise the most important divisions and criteria of application as well as the resulting, different typologies. Regardless of the theoretical exercise itself it seems that a certain international convergence begins to gradually surface in Europe in connection with the EU requirements pertaining to spatial development and the need to formulate the definition of gradual, regional, multi-scale and functional development of rural areas in Europe.
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