Take part in shaping the future vision of the rural areas of Europe - Deadline 28 August

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The President of the European Commission announced that the Commission will develop a Long Term Vision for Rural Areas to enable them to make the most of their potential and support them in facing up to their own unique set of issues, from demographic change to connectivity, the risk of poverty and limited access to services. She placed the Vision under the supervision of VP Suica (Democracy and Demography) and made it part of  mission letters to both Commissioners Wojciechowski and Ferreira. The Vision will take the form of a Communication in the second quarter of 2021 paving the way for subsequent initiatives into future policies. 

This should be done in close consultation with people, socio- economic partners and stakeholders, NGOs etc living in rural areas, or interacting with rural areas as well as local and regional authorities.

The process of developing the vision is expected to lead to the publication of a Commission Communication before summer 2021. Its preparation will involve various Commission services including the Joint Research Centre (JRC), as well as inputs from many other stakeholders, a large-scale public consultation and various research projects funded through Horizon 2020 and numerous other sources. 

As part of the process the Commission mandated the European Network of Rural Development (ENRD) to form a Thematic Group on the Long Term Rural Vision, #rural2040, that will consist of a small but dedicated cross-section of informed and engaged stakeholders from different parts of Europe. There will be at least four main meetings over the year-long period leading up to the Communication, with the first two meetings programmed for September and December of 2020. The members of the Thematic Group are expected to commit to participate in at least these first two meetings.

The aims of the Thematic Group are:

  1. To contribute to and enrich the foresight exercise to be carried out for the Long Term Rural Vision in cooperation with the JRC. This will take place as the centrepiece of the first two meetings of the Thematic Group in September and December 2020.
  2. To act as a platform or exchange hub sharing, discussing and communicating the results of different activities carried out by Thematic Group members and other key actors involved in contributing to the Long Term Rural Vision.
  3. To improve the coherence and structure of dialogue that will take place among stakeholders on the Long Term Rural Vision in different parts of Europe.
  4. To communicate more widely with stakeholders and encourage their sustained involvement in the dialogue.
  5. To contribute to the ENRD conference on the Long Term Rural Vision (expected in spring 2021).

In order to fulfil these objectives, the Thematic Group needs to attract a small group (maximum 40 people) of experienced and committed members that reflect the diversity of rural Europe. They will be expected to participate as free-thinking individuals over the entire period rather than coming as the representatives of specific organisations, interests or Member States.

Participants will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:


  • Experience and/or knowledge of rural challenges and opportunities;
  • Capacity and willingness to contribute to the Long Term Rural Vision process;
  • Commitment to participate in at least the first two meetings (22-23 September and indicatively 2-3 December) which will focus on the foresight exercise and preferably in all four meetings.


  • Committed to engage in dialogue and communicate outcomes to their peers.

Express your interest in becoming a member of the Thematic Group and in participating in the meetings through the link below by 28 August 2020 at the latest.

Express your interest

Please note that when selecting the Thematic Group members from the expressions of interest the ENRD Contact Point will – to the extent possible – also take into consideration the need to ensure a balance of participants from EU Member States, sectors and topics, gender and age.

Applicants will be informed if their participation is confirmed by 7 September 2020.

If you are interested in any specific aspect of the Long Term Rural Vision, please contact us at rural-vision@enrd.eu.


Related themes

Rural development