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An epic journey comes to an end: coordinator’s farewell letter


On Thursday 14th of September, all SHERPA partners gathered online for the last consortium meeting of the project. The meeting served to look back and review what has been done during the whole SHERPA project and what are the final steps to be taken before the project comes to an end.

In addition to the meeting, the Ecorys team, coordinator of the SHERPA project, left us with some words of farewell:

“Over the past four years, SHERPA has succeeded in establishing a thriving community of science, society and policy actors, elevating rural areas in the EU policy debate. With a network of more than 600 members, organised in 41 Multi-Actor Platforms, the project has contributed to policy developments and future research agendas. It has developed a unique mechanism that uses the results of recent research projects to engage local actors in the formulation of policy recommendations.  

The start of the project coincided with the launch of the Long-Term Vision for the Rural Areas initiative by the European Commission. The project provided useful inputs to the initiative which, in turn, influenced the subjects and areas tackled by SHERPA. This encompassed a range of ten topics, spanning from rural policies addressing biodiversity and landscape enhancement to strategies for empowering rural areas within multilevel governance processes. SHERPA’s efforts have resulted in the production of an impressive collection of over 170 rural policy papers.

Through a comprehensive review of past and ongoing research projects, SHERPA has established a repository that facilitates targeted searches for research outputs, findings, and recommendations pertaining to topics relevant to rural areas in Europe.

In its capacity as the coordinator of SHERPA, Ecorys would like to seize this moment to express its gratitude to all SHERPA members and partners for their dynamic involvement and substantial contributions throughout the project. Let’s all make sure that the dialogue between citizens, researchers and policy-makers across EU territories continues!”

Published by Olivier, Chartier, Elodie Salle and Brigit Zomer

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