In September 2020, ELARD and REDR published in a Summary of responses from the Macro survey: Which future do you want in rural areas?
Both networks launched in May 2020 a macro-survey at European level with the idea of collecting the opinion of the European rural population about the future of their territories first-hand and, specifically, how LEADER can continue to improve the quality of life of rural areas and their inhabitants in the near future.
The survey was closed in August 2020 with 3 436 answers from 26 different countries. There was a broad involvement of citizens, members of these networks, as well as LAGs and FLAG distributing the survey to rural citizens.
The general conclusions underline that rural citizens ask for proper job-opportunities and accessibility to basic services such as health and care, education, care services for the elderly and dependents, connectivity and affordable housing.
Other main conclusion is that the vital importance of rural territories to society as a whole must be recognised. Their image and perception among urban populations and decision-makers must be improved.
Related to LEADER, it was concluded that this method, with 25 years’ experience, has proven to react flexible, quickly and target-oriented to the current crisis. In consequence, there is a need for expanding and extending the LEADER-method as the multi-level governance tool it is.