Rural areas are the fabric of our society and the heartbeat of our economy. They are a core part of our identity and our economic potential. We will cherish and preserve our rural areas and invest in their future.
– Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission
What is the long-term vision for rural areas?
The long-term vision for rural areas is an initiative by the European Commission to develop a common European vision for vibrant, connected, and sustainable rural areas by 2040.
In shaping this long-term vision, the Commission will gather the views of rural communities and businesses through public consultations and stakeholder-lead events. The Commission will also embrace the transformative possibilities brought by the research and innovation projects of Horizon 2020.
Through this collaborative and innovative process, the Commission intends to create a wide-ranging vision and a comprehensive rural action plan that will help rural communities and businesses reach their full potential in the coming decades.
Rural areas today
83% of the EU’s territory
30.6% of EU population
A smaller share of GDP
Lower rates of digital skills
59% high-speed internet
Rural areas in numbers
Key statistics for EU rural areas today, with figures relating to demographics, economic development, social inclusion and environmental sustainability.Explore
Engaging with stakeholders and citizens
The views of rural communities, farmers and businesses are essential in shaping a rounded vision for the future of rural areas. From the outset, the Commission has worked with the European network for rural development (ENRD), national rural networks and support units, and stakeholder organisations to provide opportunities for sharing views and information with rural stakeholders.
The Commission has also an undertaken an open public consultation, allowing citizens, civil society and stakeholders to share their views, experience and expectations in relation to the Long Term Vision for Rural Areas.
The results of the consultation will be presented during Rural Vision Week, organised and supported by the ENRD. This week-long online event will provide further opportunities for rural stakeholders – and all citizens who have an interest in contributing to a vibrant and viable future of rural areas – to participate, exchange views, and have their say.