The Rural Pact conference – Supporting the EU’s rural areas
On 15-16 June, over 450 participants representing EU, national, and regional policy makers along with local authorities, social and economic stakeholders gathered for the first Rural Pact conference. They agreed on the governance of a Rural Pact and committed to achieving the long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas. Over these two days, participants and members of the Rural Pact community started making commitments to make the EU’s rural areas stronger, more connected, resilient and prosperous by 2040.
The conference participants who took part in the participatory workshops submitted over 40 commitments building on those presented before the conference. These commitments address specific issues arising in rural communities and areas, including availability of jobs/employment/business opportunities, as well as digital infrastructure.
Over €60 billion is available for rural development under the Common Agricultural Policy for the period 2023-27. Under the new CAP, at least 35% of these funds will be allocated to measures to support local development, climate, biodiversity, environment and animal welfare.
The European Commission will facilitate the set up and work of the Rural Pact and will help to monitor progress on the implementation of the commitments made under its auspices. In addition, the Commission will launch the EU rural observatory to provide more detailed data on rural areas, publish a toolkit on access to EU funding opportunities for rural areas, launch a website by the end of this year to have a single entry point to all rural vision activities, including the rural revitalisation platform, amongst other actions, see here.
On the basis of the agreement of the Rural Pact’s governance, concrete actions will follow. Membership of the Rural Pact Community is still open and commitments can still be submitted online.