Rural development programmes provide a variety of tools that can be used to promote rural development. This work involves farmers, rural enterprises, rural residents and their organisations, as well as Leader Local Action Groups (LAGs) and ultimately everyone interested in the future of the Finnish countryside.
Finland’s Rural Development Strategy for 2007–2013 outlines the policies applied in developing Finland’s rural regions. This strategy is implemented through two EU-cofinanced rural development programmes: one for Mainland Finland, and one for the autonomous province of Åland.
The Rural Development Programme for Mainland Finland is administered by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, while the Rural Development Programme for Åland is administered by the provincial government of the Åland Islands.
The National Rural Policy Programme is prepared by the government-appointed Rural Policy Committee, and its actions are largely implemented by government ministries and agencies and the municipal authorities, as well as certain associations and educational institutes. The current programme for the years 2009–2013, entitled Countryside for Vigorous Finland, is the fifth such Rural Policy Programme presented by the Rural Policy Committee.