The article examines the developments and challenges faced by both anthropologists and rural communities since the 1960s. Looking at the parallel transition experienced By anthropologists working on Europe and farming communities experiencing European integration, I argue that a shift in methodological and thematic terms has occurred raising a number of issues for the establishment of a research agenda on the Anthropology of Europe. The most important shift concerns the reconfiguration of rural Europe, from the farm or village to more ‘complex’ social settings in which the presence of the state, bureaucracies, new social actors and markets are integrated into local phenomena. Attached to this rescaling is the issue of how anthropologists define their fieldwork and the objects of their study. Finally, heritage and conservation which are at the heart of the process of a European core identity and of a European rural imaginary provide a new critical framework to think about the connection between local concerns and global changes.