The EU Council approved yesterday the conclusions of the Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas (LTVRA), which give guidelines for member states on political orientations to adopt to strenghten further the prosperity, resilience and social fabric of rural areas and communities.
In this meeting where the role of rural areas as essential for EU economies, especially in terms of climate action, safeguard of food security and heritage, and essential to preserve the autonomy of the EU regarding its food strategy, the Council asked for:
a holistic approach, to be put together hands in hands with local stakeholders, and local and regional authorities – the role of LAGs and the LEADER approach were highlighted
a strengthened connectivity and stronger digital skills
more funding for rural areas: all EU funds that can be relevant to digitalisation and infrastructure should be involved, and the cohesion of the multicplicity of funds should be reinforced. Ministers are inviting the Commission to put together a monitoring tool to evaluate EU funding for rual areas and set a formal process to ensure the coherence of synergies between EU policies and tools
more solutions to attract youth to fight depopulation, inluding more solutions to help set up new farmers, to create more job opportunities and to incentivise participation in the public life
more solutions to include women in decision-making in rural areas and to increase the numbe of women in the agricultural sector.
The Council now invites the commission to bring the LTVRA to evolve into a Rural Strategy for the union, which would have its own holistic approach and relevant indicators. It also encourages Member States to get involved into the Rural Pact.