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On 30 June 2021, the European Commission adopted a communication on its long-term vision for the EU's rural areas. The communication identifies areas of action with a view to creating new momentum for the EU's rural areas, while recognising their diversity. In recent decades, in many Member States rural areas have experienced depopulation. Such regions face a range of environmental and socio-economic challenges. These include, for example, lower income per capita, a higher percentage of the population ...

This Briefing forms part of an EPRS series offering syntheses of the pre-legislative state of play and consultation on key European Commission priorities during the current five-year term. It summarises the state of affairs in the relevant policy field, examines how existing policy is working on the ground, and, where possible, identifies best practice and ideas for the future on the part of governmental organisations at all levels of the EU system of multilevel governance. EPRS analysis of the positions ...

Although there is no legal definition of a 'smart village' within EU legislation, there are a number of distinguishing features associated with the smart village concept, with the involvement of the local community and the use of digital tools being seen as core elements. The concept implies the participation of local people in improving their economic, social or environmental conditions, cooperation with other communities, social innovation and the development of smart village strategies. Digital ...

One of the key demographic challenges facing rural areas is the ageing population, not only among farmers but also among the rural population in general. This paper examines the demographic profile of older people in the EU's rural areas, and presents a series of issues pertaining to the situation facing older people. Topics covered include health and access to services, issues of social isolation and loneliness, the role of technology and lifelong learning, access to social care, and the impact ...

The EU has been very active in setting up policy and funding instruments to swiftly and pragmatically mobilise initial support during the health crisis, immediately followed by efforts to get the economy back on track. This paper provides a first review of Cohesion Policy measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including preliminary insights on their uptake and reflections on their impact. It concludes with policy pointers on how to use the measures as accelerators for structural change.

This study analyses the EU’s lagging regions and proposes a revised typology to identify those that are most vulnerable, with an eye to the challenges emerging from the ongoing economic transitions. It also explores the engagement of lagging regions in EU policies, including cohesion policy, and puts forward some recommendations to improve their future support at EU level.

This in-depth analysis provides a preliminary analysis of the upcoming Commission’s communication on a long term vision for rural areas. It presents the key features of the communication and its implications for the CAP, takes stock of the current and future EU policy tools to support rural areas and provides background material on the economic, demographic, social and spatial challenges they are faced with.

This study looks at the role of EU Cohesion Policy in non-urban (rural) areas. It analyses the challenges of these areas and discusses the extent and thematic orientation of rural Cohesion Policy funding. The study then presents the relationship between Cohesion Policy and CAP, before giving an overview of the role of Cohesion Policy for healthcare. It also reflects on the implications of Cohesion Policy proposals post-2020 for rural areas, before providing final conclusions and recommendations for ...

The Vice President-designate, Dubravka Šuica, appeared before the European Parliament on 03 October 2019 to answer questions from MEPs in the Committees on Constitutional affairs and Employment and social affairs. During the hearing, she made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to her portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to her by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission, including: - Conference on the Future ...

This study outlines the current trends and patterns of farming employment in the EU and discusses possible development paths for the European agricultural labour force. In particular, this study investigates the drivers of and structural changes within agricultural labour markets at regional, national and EU level, building on a range of quantitative and qualitative analysis methods.