Some of the key outcomes of the public consultation on the Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas (LTVRA) have been published by DG AGRI.
More than 2 300 respondents contributed to the online public consultation ran between September and November 2020, sharing their views on the future of rural areas.
Over 50% of respondents stated that improved infrastructure, especially in terms of public transport, is the most pressing need for rural areas. Access to basic services and amenities, such as water, electricity, banks and post offices, were also highlighted as an urgent need for 43% of respondents.
Over the next 20 years, respondents believe that the attractiveness of rural areas will largely depend on the availability of digital connectivity (93%), of basic services and e-services (94%) and on improving the climate and environmental performance of farming (92%).
When asked if people felt left behind by society, 39% of respondents answered positively, mostly due to the deteriorated infrastructure and services (61%).
In terms of decision-making, 83% of participants believe that decisions taken at local level impact the lives of rural people while only one quarter (27%) consider that particular attention is given to rural areas in public policy design. The findings of the public consultation will be presented at the Rural Vision Week, organised by the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD) between 22 and 26 March 2021.