The project’s contribution to the development of a future vision for rural areas has been published and it aims to feed into the ongoing debate. The Position Paper presents the key issues identified by the 20 regional and national SHERPA Multi-Actor Platforms (MAPs), and by the EU-level MAP.
The work carried out by the MAPs helped them identify their desired visions for 2040, alongside enabling factors, opportunities to seize and challenges to overcome.
A key message that resulted from MAPs contribution can be summaries as follows:
European rural areas are attractive in their own right and, as a consequence of the high quality of life available, many such areas are appealing places to live, work and visit.
MAPs made a strong call for mechanisms to ensure that rural matters are addressed in a coordinated and coherent manner in all areas of policy. The hope is for the future Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas to reflect the outcomes of this exercise, setting out the principles and instruments for achieving the vision overall, and its realisation at different territorial levels, respecting the diversity of rural Europe and following the principles of equality, innovation and environmental sustainability.
In September 2019, the new European Commission (2019 – 2024) announced the preparation of a Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas, to be coordinated by the Commissioner for Democracy and Demography, Dubravka Šuica, with the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Janusz Wojciechowski, and the Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira. The aim is to stimulate a debate on the future of rural areas and the roles they have to play in European society.
A public consultation took place between September and November 2020, gathering views and perspectives from stakeholders and the wider public.
The European Commission plans to launch its Communication on the Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas in the second quarter of 2021.
Further information can be found here.