Europe's rural areas provide us with food, homes, jobs and basic ecosystem services, while at the same time facing unique challenges, including demographic change, a high risk of poverty and a lack of access to basic facilities.
Rural areas make up more than 341 million hectares, which makes 83% of the total EU area in 2018. Agricultural land, forests and natural areas make up almost 80% of the EU area.
30.6% of the EU population lives in rural areas; predominantly elderly population. Rural and remote areas have the lowest share of the EU's population in age groups below 50 years.
In formulating a long-term vision, the Commission has gathered the views of rural communities and businesses through public consultation and stakeholder-led events. Through this collaborative process, the Commission has created a wide-ranging vision and a comprehensive rural action plan to help rural communities and businesses reach their full potential in the coming decades. Four complementary areas of action emerged, embodying a long-term vision from, by and for stronger, connected, resilient and prosperous rural areas by 2040..
Maintaining or improving public transport services and connections, as well as deepening digital infrastructures are essentials for ensuring better connected rural areas in the EU.
Preservation of natural resources, restoration of landscapes, greening of agricultural activities and shortening supply chains will make rural areas more resilient to climate change, natural hazards and economic crises.
Diversification of economic activities should be based on sustainable local economic strategies, including measures to make their environment attractive to companies and extend digital literacy.
The Rural Pact is a framework for cooperation between authorities and stakeholders at the European, national, regional and local level. It aims to contribute to achieving the common goals of a long-term vision for the EU's rural areas. The pact is a starting point of a long-term process. It seeks to simplify interaction on ideas and experiences to help public authorities, stakeholders and citizens to combine and increase efforts for the benefit of rural areas.t okvir je za suradnju među tijelima i dionicima na europskoj, nacionalnoj, regionalnoj i lokalnoj razini. Cilj mu je doprinijeti postizanju zajedničkih ciljeva dugoročne vizije za ruralna područja EU-a. Paktom se pokreće dugoročan proces. Njime se nastoji pojednostavniti interakcija s idejama i iskustvima kako bi se javnim tijelima, dionicima i građanima pomoglo da kombiniraju i povećaju napore u korist ruralnih područja.
The Rural Pact will be developed in cooperation with all stakeholders , and the Commission will act as a mediator. It will also seek to work with all European institutions, national and local authorities, stakeholder organizations and citizens from the 27 member states, including women and young people, to design and adhere to the Pact.
The rural pact participation form is available at the following link: https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/RuralPact
This form allows authorities and stakeholders to join a community which aims at stronger, more connected, more resilient and prosperous rural areas in the EU by 2040. At the Rural Pact Conference in June 2022, this community will decide how the various authorities and stakeholders can communicate, organize and monitor voluntary commitments, translating the vision into concrete actions.