The paper presents development problems encountered by rural self-governments and economic entities in connection with their operation in the areas covered by the European ecological network Nature 2000. In the subjective opinion of the surveyed representatives of rural communities this network creates serious barriers to development. Such negative perception of Nature 2000 can be blamed largely on the insufficient knowledge of actual investment restrictions, which can be attributed to the lack of necessary information, and on the disregard for the opinion of local governments in the process of selection of such areas. However, the attractive features of the local natural environment are often regarded by the inhabitants of rural areas as factors essential for the stimulation of economic activity and for development.
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