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What should European rural areas look like in 2040?


The European Commission has opened the public consultation on its new initiative for a long-term vision for rural areas. This consultation, which will be open until 30 November 2020, aims to collect views on current opportunities and challenges in rural areas, aspirations for rural areas in 2040 and the actions needed to achieve these aspirations.

The public consultation on the long-term vision for rural is a new step towards a Commission Communication on the topic, to be published in 2021. It will gather the perceptions and views of Europeans on issues such as the needs of rural areas today, what makes rural areas attractive, the opportunities for the future of rural areas, and governance in rural areas.

After launching the public consultation on the roadmap for the adoption of a Communication on the Long Term Vision for Rural Areas, this next step aims at supporting a debate at European level on the future of rural areas and the place they should have in our society. It will propose actions to be taken, including in the shorter term, to achieve this long-term vision for the future of rural areas.

SHERPA will also contribute to this process, by feeding the views of science-society-policy actors from 20 European territories. A review of a sample of foresight and scenario studies was conducted at European and global levels. In addition, the SHERPA Discussion Paper on the long-term vision provides a summary of the opportunities and challenges identified in recent scientific and technical publications and outputs from research projects.

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