The digital age and Period 4.0 are interconnected, due to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. One of the main problems is the long-term characteristics of rural areas, especially the high degree of heterogeneity, which hinders efforts to unambiguously define them. The need to typify rural areas and to identify various types of problems or potentials for development represents further complicating factors which negatively impact on long-term spatial trends. Globalisation and neoliberalism are additional factors that have long influenced the shape and direction of the digital era. From a rural study perspective, there is a warning that globalisation has left many rural communities unsure of their best strategies. Contradictions grow out of misunderstanding the nature of the rural development, by prioritising neo-productivist pressures instead. Within this general framework, it is necessary to examine the position of the EU’s rural development policy in the context of key neo-productivist drivers. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.