During 2008-2009 DG REGIO is undertaking a set of activities in the area of urban-rural linkages which will include three seminars and a conference. The aim of this exercise is to have a debate focusing on urban-rural issues as well as to take stock of, disseminate and learn from experience already existing in this particular field. The first seminar was held on 17 September 2008 on the subject of urban-rural linkages enhancing European territorial competitiveness. The second event in this context is the seminar on 23 January 2009 on the subject of urban-rural linkages fostering sustainable development. A third seminar on urban-rural linkages fostering social cohesion will be organized during the first half of 2009.
Dissemination of the seminars is provided through a dedicated website. In addition, the publication of a brochure is being considered.
The issue of urban-rural linkages is furthermore part of the ongoing work on territorial cohesion. Action 1.1a of the First Action Programme for the Implementation of the Territorial Agenda of the European Union is dedicated to urban-rural relations and the incoming Czech Presidency will follow up this point. Discussion on urban-rural linkages is foreseen at the international conference on the future of cohesion policy and territorial cohesion 26-27 March 2009 in Prague organised by the Czech Presidency. Furthermore, following the experience with the Urban Audit, EUROSTAT proposes to create a database with an increasing range of data at NUTS-3 level. This information could then be used as building blocks for calculating various aggregates like data for rural and urban areas.