The aim of the study was to review the policy instruments under the framework of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), 2007-13, by: reviewing intervention rationales and instruments and their use against the objectives, priorities and key actions in the EU Strategic Guidelines; assessing whether and how RD rationales and instruments should be adapted to deliver these more effectively. Context: An explicit, integrated approach to EU rural policy within the CAP began with the creation of the Rural Development (RD) Regulation, 1257/1999. This new ‘second pillar’ was formed by bringing together a range of existing measures (accompanying measures, farm structure aids, RD measures from structural fund programmes and LEADER). However, the EAFRD Regulation reflects successive policy developments since then. From 2004 (enlargement), new measures offered support to semi-subsistence farms and producer groups in new MS. From 2003 (CAP Mid-Term Review), additional measures for farm advice and quality production were added. For the EAFRD (from 2007), new measures for economic development (micro-businesses, local area strategies), and also in respect of biodiversity, water and forestry, were added. In addition the Regulation created a single, common RD fund and grouped instruments under four ‘axes’, corresponding to its strategic goals: farming and forestry competitiveness; environmental land management; rural diversification and quality of life; and the LEADER approach. Some former measures were combined, too. It is thus timely to review the scope and appropriateness of the framework, for the future.