On 4 April 2022, the Institute of Rural and Agricultural Development of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IRWiR PAN) and the European Rural Development Network (ERDN) organised a scientific seminar on the “Long-term vision for rural areas in the EU”. The targeted audience was an interdisciplinary research community focusing their research on rural development issues.
The seminar focused on overviewing the long-term vision for rural areas from the perspective of selected regions in Portugal, Romania, Italy and Poland, and in the context of findings of three H2020 projects – RURITAGE, RURALIZATION and SHERPA, as well as to discussing its shape in Europe by 2040.
The seminar was divided into two parts. The first one showed the regional perspective and approaches to long-term vision in the specific regions of Italy, Romania, Portugal and Poland. The presentations were based on the results of debates conducted by the SHERPA Multi-Actor Platforms in these countries. The second part of the seminar looked at more general findings of the three H2020 projects that focus on rural areas – RURITAGE, RURALIZATION and SHERPA.
The discussion following the presentations showed similarities of the findings of all the presented H2020 projects, as well as regional similarities in the long-term vision of rural areas in the EU. Despite different research agendas, the projects clearly identify what contributes to attractiveness of rural areas and the way to achieve it. RURITAGE project’s message is of high importance combining the three key elements of “trust + cooperation + continuity”, which can be summed up as good governance. RURALIZATION presented what can attract young people to choose rural areas as a place to live and work, while SHERPA findings emphasized the need for empowering local communities and dialogue among different stakeholder groups.