Green innovation key to Europe's rural policies
Environment, climate change and innovation are set out in the Commission paper as the guiding principles which are to steer rural development policy.
While details of how these themes will influence future initiatives are sketchy, a Commission source said that encouraging farmers to adopt new technology could be one element.
There is strong pressure politically for EU policy to do more to encourage science and research and this is seen as having influenced the proposals.
Rural development policy should help "unlock the potential of rural areas" and pay "close attention to innovative ideas for business and local governance", the paper states. The development of local markets and addressing the needs of young farmers and new entrants should also be a priority, it adds.