Rural stakeholders groups and organisations from across the EU are starting to launch work and sharing views to contribute to the “long-term vision for rural areas” that will be developed by the European Commission (EC).
The long-term vision for rural areas is coordinated by Vice-President Dubravka Šuica, European Commissioner for Democracy & Demography. Janusz Wojciechowski, EU Commissioner for Agriculture, and Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms will also collaborate to develop the vision. A public consultation is expected to be launched by the EC in September 2020.
One of the first European organisation sharing their views for this vision is Euromontana.
Their key recommendations for the long-term vision are:
- Reinforced implementation of Cohesion Policy tools in mountain areas, with a placed-based approach and better communication to potential beneficiaries on the available tools and funds.
- Smarter governance between EU policies, for instance with a simplification of Structural and Investments Funds, a real rural proofing of European policies and an ambitious European rural agenda in respect of article 174 TFEU, as requested by the Committee of the Regions and the European Parliament.
- Enhanced innovation, including digital and social, with ring-fenced funds for initiatives such as Smart Villages.
- Strengthened attractivity, including among youth and newcomers, thanks to territorial marketing, qualified employment opportunities all year long and cleaner and smarter mobility.
For more detailed information can be found in the document “Towards a long-term vision of rural areas”.
The LEADER community is also collecting ideas and reflections for the future of rural areas.
The National Association of LEADER Local Action Groups in Spain has just launched a questionnaire to collect opinions and reflections about how LEADER can continue to improve the quality of life of rural areas and their inhabitants in the near future.
You can check and respond to the questionnaire here.