The Rural Pact conference will bring together EU, national, and regional politicians along with local authorities, social and economic stakeholders in a participatory event that reflects the rural vision’s ambition and bottom-up character.
It will engage participants in designing the governance of the Rural Pact and gather commitments for the achievement of the long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas. To do so, the conference will:
- Engage all levels of governance and rural stakeholders in endorsing the goals of the vision and debating on how to reach them. It will put the spotlight on the key role rural areas can play in Europe’s future. The presence of high-level political and grassroots representatives will commit all levels of governance to taking the interests of rural areas into account. Frontrunners will present inspirational examples showing how they are already working towards the vision goals.
- Involve participants in implementing the vision through breakout sessions where participants will indicate how they can contribute to achieving the goals of the vision. These sessions will identify common interests and areas on which the local, regional and national level could act individually and in cooperation with others. Since the European Commission has already presented and committed itself to an Action Plan, the actions participants propose will be collected and presented during the conference’s closing session and will be the basis for the Rural Pact’s work programme.
- Increase the visibility of rural areas by involving high-level political guests from the European institutions and Member States in implementing the first comprehensive EU-wide rural strategy. This will be key to strengthen the positive potential of rural areas and strategic role for the future of Europe, and to generate buy-in from all levels of governance, to increase the impact of policy in rural areas.
Plenary and breakout sessions will alternate to ensure maximum interaction at this event.
The conference is organised by the Commission in partnership with the European Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social Committee, the European Parliament, the Presidency of the European Council and the European Rural Parliament.
On 30 June 2021, the Commission adopted a Communication on the long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas. As part of this vision to create stronger, more connected, more prosperous and more resilient rural areas, the Commission committed to creating a Rural Pact. By bringing together the national, regional and local governance levels, as well as stakeholders, the EU Institutions and interested parties, this pact will be a framework for their cooperation, will support improved access to funding and contribute to ensuring the specific needs of Europe’s diverse rural areas are taken into account.