1. Introduction Rural Europe has been experiencing far-reaching transformations in the context of contemporary economic globalization. Most rural areas have traditionally depended on agrarian activity. Nevertheless, the general decline in the importance of agriculture and the subsequent reduction in its employment absorption capacity have been bringing about significant mutations in the rural sphere. In many rural areas deep demographic changes are taking place, such as population aging and depopulation, while processes of counter-urbanization in some areas close to large city centres are also being observed. In this context, the viability of many rural zones has been dependent on economic diversification and the impulse of non-farming activities.