30.6% of the EU’s population lives in rural areas which represent 83% of the total EU area in 2018. Rural areas face unique challenges, including demographic changes, high risk of poverty, and a lack of access to basic services and infrastructures.
Launched in 2021, the long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas is an initiative for stronger, connected, resilient and prosperous rural areas by 2040. Four complementary areas of action are addressed:
- Stronger rural areas: involving a broad range of stakeholders and networks and encouraging social innovation.
- Connected rural areas: improving public transport services and digital infrastructures
- More resilient rural areas that foster well-being, through the greening of farming activities and shortening supply chains
- Prosperous rural areas: diversifying economic activities to new sectors
The Rural Pact is a framework for cooperation among authorities and stakeholders at the European, national, regional and local level. It aims to contribute to achieving the shared goals of the long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas. The Pact seeks to simplify interaction on ideas and experiences, to help public authorities, stakeholders and citizens to combine and increase efforts for the benefit of rural areas.
The Rural Pact engagement form allows authorities and stakeholders to join a community which aims at stronger, more connected, resilient and prosperous rural areas in the EU.
At the Rural Pact high-level conference in June 2022, this community will decide how the various authorities and stakeholders can interact, organise and follow-up on voluntary commitments, translating the vision into concrete actions. More info on the EU’s Rural Pact are available here.
Survey on agri-food sustainable innovation:
The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) has launched the IN-PACT project, carried out in collaboration with the CARTIF Technology Centre, on how and why EU agri-food supply chain operators respond to the current dynamics of change by targeting sustainability objectives, through innovation and innovative practices. This project aims to provide insights to policymakers in the context of the Green Deal and its Farm to Fork strategy for a fairer, healthier and more environmentally friendly agri-food system.
This questionnaire targets companies and businesses (including SMEs and agribusiness operators) operating in the input supply, primary production, processing, packaging, distribution, wholesale or retail stages of the agri-food supply chain, and related organisations and associations that represent or serve these companies and businesses.
Complete the survey by 15 April 2022 (extended deadline), it is available in most EU languages. The questionnaire takes about 15 minutes to complete.