The Period 4.0 offers a whole range of new opportunities for rural areas, yet benefits have thus far been identified mostly in urban areas where opportunities associated with the Internet of things have been more fully exploited. Rural studies face problems relating to defining activities that are to be implemented across rural areas. According to the new Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development paradigm, an emphasis is placed on a host of sectors and activities within rural economies, and not an emphasis that is solely on agriculture, as previously practised. EU ‘rural development’ policy focuses only on the development element that is noted last, through the support of multifunctional agriculture. Socio-economic development remains, with only marginal interest to rural development policy, not only in terms of the definition of relevant instruments, but also in particular with regard to the structure and the amount of financial support.