- Composition of the study group
- Administrator / Assistant in charge: Martine DELANOY / Isabel ANTUNES
Rural areas play a critical role in economic and social cohesion, in regions' resilience, and in the contribution of countless services from various local ecosystems, including food production.
To ensure that rural areas can continue to play these essential roles, the European Commission published on 30 June 2021 a communication setting out a long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas up to 2040. It identifies areas of action towards stronger, connected, resilient and prosperous rural areas and communities.
This long-term vision is part of the Commission’s political priority ‘a new push for European Democracy’ and is set against the backdrop of the a Europe fit for the digital age (digital transition) and a European Green Deal (green transition), as well as the recovery plan for Europe.
This vision includes a Rural Pact that will mobilise public authorities and stakeholders to act on the needs and aspirations of rural residents. It is accompanied by a EU Rural Action Plan with tangible flagship projects and new tools to help achieve the goals of the Vision. Its aim is to foster territorial cohesion and create new opportunities to attract innovative businesses, provide access to quality jobs, promote new and improved skills, ensure better infrastructure and services, and leverage the role of sustainable agriculture and diversified economic activities.
Based on previous work on rural areas and sustainable rural/ urban development, the EESC will provide an opinion on this vision and explore how to achieve its goals, 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.