The Coordination Group of the EU Multi-Actor Platform (EU MAP) met again on 19 November 2020 to continue work on the ‘Long-term vision for rural areas’. This second meeting aimed at building on the outcomes of the first meeting held in October, when the experts began to reflect on the desirable future for rural areas in 2040 and how to achieve it.
The following experts from civil society, policy and research fields participated in this meeting: Alexia Rouby (DG AGRI, European Commission), Eleftherios Stavropoulos (DG REGIO, European Commission), Hélène Moraut (European Committee of the Regions – CoR), Goran Šoster (Partnership for Rural Europe –PREPARE), Marion Eckardt (European LEADER Association for Rural Development –ELARD), Paul Soto (European Network for Rural Development –ENRD), David Miller (The James Hutton Institute), Staffan Nilsson (European Rural Community Alliance – ERCA), Vanessa Halhead (European Rural Community Alliance – ERCA), Dominique Barjolle (ETH Zurich), Olivier Chartier and Elodie Salle (Ecorys). In addition, Enrique Nieto (AEIDL), Lucia Garrido (AEIDL), Michael Kull (Nordregio) and Louise Ormstrup Vestergård (Nordregio) attended as key experts supporting the work of SHERPA and the MAP. Participants did not represent their organisations/institutions, but have been invited as individual experts.
During the first part of the meeting, participants worked together to fine-tune their common vision for rural areas in 2040 which was drafted during the previous meeting of the EU MAP. This rural vision is built around four main blocks:
- The recognition of rural areas as vital for society as a whole, with rural communities that are empowered, connected and resilient to climate change;
- Rural communities that enjoy a high-quality of life and offer equal opportunities regardless of where people live;
- Rural areas with a diversified rural economy that offer access to high-quality jobs and services;
- Rural communities that live in harmony with nature to provide food and fair private and public goods and services, while respecting the environment.
In the second part of the meeting, Michael Kull presented the main outcomes from the survey (more than 1 000 responses) and discussions carried out by national and regional SHERPA MAPs. This information helped to trigger reflections about the key EU-level enablers for achieving the shared vision of the EU MAP.
All these ideas will be further developed by the group in upcoming meetings of the EU MAP and in the SHERPA Annual Conference that takes place on 30 November and 1 December 2020. Registration is available through this link.
The final results will be presented in the SHERPA Position Paper that will be published in January 2021.