The project involved the preparation of a background paper for a ‘Sub Rosa’ seminar on the future of EU regional and rural policies, sponsored by the Scottish Government EU Office, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scotland Europa. The project analysed the added value of EU Cohesion policy and EU Common Agricultural Policy Pillar II, as well as the need for enhanced coordination structures between the two policy fields in 2007-13. It also drew lessons from area-based policies in the Member States, focusing on experiences in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Germany), Krajna & Paluki (Poland), Algarve (Portugal), Pohjois Suomi (Finland) and the Highlands and Islands (UK). Lastly, the project identified a range of questions for discussion, under the two main themes of the form of rural policy needed, and how EU policies should support rural development. The paper was presented at the Sub Rosa seminar on 29 February – 1 March 2007.