Geographia Polonica, 86(2) pp 99-110

Globalization has a pervasive influence over regional development in rural Europe, presenting both opportunities and challenges. This paper draws on research conducted in the DERREG project to examine how globalization impacts on rural regions, and importantly, how rural regions across Europe are proactively engaging with globalization processes and their impacts, exploiting new opportunities and responding to challenges. The paper identifies the significance of regional policy in shaping and supporting regional development responses, but argues that policy contributions can be compromised by misconceptions around the definition of rural regions and their functional ties to urban centres, and calls for a more relational understanding of regions to enhance policy interventions.