Autorenabstract: Description of the action Definitions Local shops: shops selling everyday goods and services intended for individual consumers in an area serving a limited number of customers. Disadvantaged rural areas: rural areas where public authorities provide financial support to encourage the maintenance, diversification or development of economic activities. Methodology The methodology used comprises 3 successive stages: - a survey on the position regarding shopping facilities in disadvantaged rural areas. Conducted among 1101 operators on the ground in the EU, it revealed the 5 major issues arising in the 15 EU Member States (business formats, supplying of retailers, methods of business cooperation, measures providing technical support for businesses, contribution to local development); 5 - the identification of best practice by discussion groups set up on each of the above issues and composed of experts from various countries with complementary experience. Forms of best practice are collected in Chapter 2 of this document in the form of individual case studies. Chapter 3 presents recommendations for improving the efficiency of this best practice. - the dissemination of best practice. Information The expertsu0092 particulars are set out in the following table. The experts may be contacted to obtain details of best practice.