On 21 February, the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD) will host a meeting of the Smart Villages Thematic Group. This will explore how rural services can be improved and made more sustainable through the deployment of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools, and through community-led actions and projects.

Rural landscape with fields, a small village and wind turbines in the distance. In front of the photo is the ENRD logo, and the title

The meeting, with the theme “Revitalising rural services through social and digital innovation”, will:

  • provide a panorama of existing initiatives and projects for innovative digital solutions supporting the provision of services in rural areas;
  • allow participants to learn from these initiatives and share lessons and approaches dealing with both the challenges and opportunities arising from digital innovation;
  • explore the role of the Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) and other policies in creating an enabling environment for digital innovation in the provision of rural services.

On the subject of rural connectivity, there will be a presentation on the “Basic conditions for digitalising rural services: the state of play of EU broadband coverage and the need for demand stimulation”, underlining the importance of the Broadband Competence Offices (BCO) Network.

You can already consult the Draft Agenda.

This will be the third meeting of the ENRD Smart Villages Thematic Group, active from September 2017 to July 2018, as part of its broader thematic work on “Smart and competitive rural areas”. The Thematic Group contributes to the EU Action for Smart Villages by enabling exchange on innovative ways of creating more vibrant, sustainable and attractive rural areas and by exploring how the Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) can be best used to support this.

Smart Villages are "rural areas and communities which build on their existing strengths and assets as well as on developing new opportunities”, where “traditional and new networks and services are enhanced by means of digital, telecommunication technologies, innovations and the better use of knowledge".

EU Action for Smart Villages

Explore the Smart Villages Portal to obtain more information on:

  • EU policy initiatives and strategic approaches;
  • EU networks, organisations and research;
  • Projects and initiatives.

The outcomes of this meeting will be presented to a wider audience during the ENRD Seminar on Smart Villages, on 22 May.

ENRD Contact Point
Contact information

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