The role of youth in rural development

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EMSK sektsiooni arvamus: The role of youth in rural development

Practical information

  1. Composition of the study group
  2. Administrator / Assistant in charge: Nicolas STENGER & Gaia BOTTONI / Luca PITRONE
  3. Contact


Young people can and should play a key role in the development of rural areas, but for this to happen, action must be taken with policies and investments aimed at making these areas more attractive and creating opportunities for territorial growth from an economic and social point of view. Migration, the ageing population, poor quality of life, lack of opportunities, poor working conditions, lack of youth consultation and representation tools in rural areas, lack of public services and poor infrastructure (including transport and digitalisation), and difficulties accessing mental health care programmes are some of the elements which are influencing young people's interest in rural areas.

The importance of youth in rural development needs to be approached in a transversal way, helping give young people access to production factors, involving them in the decision-making process and supporting them in the agricultural sector in order to become young farmers and diversify the rural economy.

The youth situation in the context of rural development is a very complex one. The objectives of the opinion are linked to the need to define and promote a clear role for youth in the green and digital transition of rural development, a more tangible relationship between youth and the agri-food sector as well as the development of future partnerships with youth organisations. The opinion will analyse a wide range of tools dealing with rural development (Rural Pact, CLLD -community-led local development-, ITI funding programs, cohesion policy, CAP funds, etc.) and propose specific recommendations and proposals to ensure better coordination of those tools from a youth perspective.

The background of the opinion is the result of the consultation carried out by the Coordination Group for the European Year of Youth in the EESC.