The study was carried out through a participatory process together with the European Network for Rural Development’s Thematic Group on the Long Term Rural Vision between September and December 2020. This report summarises the results of a foresight study on the future of EU rural areas by 2040 developing four scenarios: (i) Rurbanities; (ii) Rural renewal; (iii) Rural connections; and (iv) Rural specialisation. See figure 1 below.
The characteristics of the scenarios have been analysed on the basis of eleven drivers for change: Multilevel governance; Rural demography; Diversity of rural economy; Rural-urban relationships; Access to public services; Digital infrastructure and services; Civic engagement; Rural communities; Land management and agricultura; Climate change policies and Transport & mobility.
These drivers of change are strongly reflected in the main outcomes of the Delphi exercise implemented by the SHERPA MAPs as part of the Position Paper on the Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas — Contribution from SHERPA science-society-policy platforms. The SHERPA Position Paper presents the desired visions for 2040, the enabling factors to achieve those visions, challenges to overcome and opportunities to be seized, identified by the 20 SHERPA Multi-Actor Platforms (MAPs), and by the EU-level MAP. See figure 2 below.