Shaping the future of rural areas27 September, 2023 - 10:00 am - 29 September, 2023 - 11:00 am
High-level Rural Policy Forum
Since their launch in 2021, the long-term vision for EU’s rural areas (LTVRA) and the Rural Pact have gained political momentum at EU level, with EU institutions such as the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) or the Committee of the Regions (CoR) developing opinions and positioning themselves with respect to this key initiative for the future of European rural areas.
This momentum is moving towards Member States which are exploring how to best participate and contribute to the rural vision and Pact. The Council of the European Union made a reference to the EU rural vision in its conclusions on the 8th Cohesion report on 2nd June 2022 and in its conclusions on bioeconomy to be adopted on 25 April 2023.
The Rural Pact is a framework for cooperation among authorities and stakeholders at the European, national, regional and local levels. It contributes to achieving the shared goals of the long-term vision by facilitating interaction on rural matters between public authorities, civil society, businesses, academia and citizens. Launched in December 2021, the Pact has been developed with EU institutions, stakeholders and members of the Rural Pact community and the final proposal was endorsed at the 1st Rural Pact conference on 15-16 June 2022. The Rural Pact conference in Sweden organised by Sweden government offices on 3-4 May 2023 provides an opportunity to share knowledge on how to act for rural areas in the context of the Rural Pact.
The Commission is exploring with the future Spanish presidency of the Council of the European Union possibilities to adopt Council conclusions dedicated to the long-term vision for EU’s rural areas at the end of 2023, building on lessons learnt from the first two years of the implementation of the rural vision, in particular the stocktaking on actions carried out and programmed under the common agricultural policy and cohesion policy for 2021-2027.
The High-level Rural Policy Forum is organised by the Spanish presidency of the Council of the European Union and the European Commission with the Rural Pact Support Office. It offers a bold opportunity to gather key political actors to advance the political agenda for the future of rural areas, prepare a fruitful debate in the Council of the EU, and support Member States to take action to unlock the potential of rural areas in achieving the LTVRA objectives. It will help move forward towards greater complementarities among different policy instruments and strategies.
Enabling high-level policy exchanges between national authorities to contribute to the conclusions of the Council of the EU on the implementation of the LTVRA;
Share experiences about how EU policies and funds can best contribute to achieving the rural vision in key policy priority areas for the Spanish presidency of the Council of the EU and explore ways how the Rural Pact can add value;
Establish a dialogue to explore with Member States enhanced multi-level governance frameworks and participatory structures to listen to the voices of rural actors and relevant stakeholders and enhance the design of rural policies that enable them to act in the framework of the Rural Pact.
The Forum will gather 200 participants, targeting primarily policy makers and public authorities at EU and national levels from all 27 Member States involved in the management of EU funds, covering notably EU common agricultural and cohesion policies. It will also count with the participation of EU networks and initiatives, regional and local authorities, stakeholder groups, civil society organisations as well as academic institutions working on policy areas covered by the event, while balancing the countries represented at the Forum.