Towards a holistic strategy on sustainable rural/urban development (own-initiative opinion)

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Practical information

  1. Composition of the study group
  2. Administrator / Assistant in charge: Martine DELANOY / Tiina ALANKO
  3. Contact


Europe's rural and urban territories are not developing evenly. It is critical to foster policies that curb this trend, ensure a fair and sustainable transition to a wellbeing economy in all areas and promote population rebalancing. Rural areas play a critical role in:

  • economic and social cohesion,
  • regions' resilience,
  • contribution of countless services from various local ecosystems, including food production.

Making rural areas more attractive for young people and businesses would improve the quality of life and well-being of all EU citizens, allowing them to choose where they want to live and work. 

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) therefore decided to build on previous work and recent exchanges held on 8 March at the EESC NAT Section meeting to elaborate a holistic, forward-looking approach for sustainable rural/urban development in the EU by bringing together a wide range of relevant stakeholders and EU institutions and bodies.

The purpose of the own-initiative opinion is to explore the ways to achieve sustainability and prosperity through new ways of cooperation between rural and urban areas, in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal, the Next Generation EU recovery, the Territorial Agenda 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.