Approximately 91% of German territory is defined as rural by varying degrees and hence, 57% of the population live in rural areas. Traditionally, decentralised settlements and economic structures are seen as a strength, and the German government aims to provide equal living conditions in both urban and rural areas.
Yet, rural areas are facing growing challenges, such as an aging and declining population, decreasing employment opportunities, and remaining disparities between Eastern and Western Germany. This brief takes stock of existing rural funding schemes, starting with the framework provided by the EU to the legislation at national government level and finally the practical implementation at regional level.
Author: Lea Siebert (DCZ)