This week is an important one for rural areas. The Territorial Cohesion Team of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union would like to highlight:
- the Agrifish – Agriculture and Fisheries Council, where the Common Agricultural Policy and rural development were discussed (March 22 and 23);
- the Network of Territorial Cohesion Contact Points meeting (March 23), which section C was dedicated to the ‘Territorial Agenda and the Future of Rural Areas’, where synergies between the Territorial Agenda 2030 and the Long Term Vision for Rural Areas were identified;
- and, integrated in the ‘Rural Vision Week: Imagining the future of Europe’s (March 22-26), a fringe event (March 25), ‘Territorial Agenda 2030: a Future for All Places, a Future for Rural Areas’.
In Europe, increasing inequalities between people and between places as well as unsustainable developments have reached a critical level. This can only be overcome by paying more attention to the diversity of places in Europe, including rural areas, along with their development potential and challenges.
The Territorial Agenda 2030 seeks to contribute to an inclusive and sustainable future for all places and people in Europe. It calls for strengthening the territorial dimension within sector policies and between all levels of government, for more place-based and place-sensitive policies and for a greater use of territorial evidence in policy making. This is of particular relevance to rural areas and rural development.
To inspire joint actions across Europe, six pilot actions were launched at the end of 2020 to demonstrate, test and develop practices which contribute to achieving Territorial Agenda priorities. These actions mirror increasing recognition of the importance of place-based policies by showing how the territorial dimension of regional, national and European policies can be actively addressed. Most of these actions pertain rural areas.
In the framework of the debate on a long-term vision for rural areas and with the Territorial Agenda 2030 just adopted at the end of 2020, this event had three objectives:
- For those not that familiar with the Territorial Agenda 2030, it provided a general introduction, with a particular focus on rural areas;
- The event provided food for thought with territorial evidence on rural areas and rural development from ESPON
- It also provided some ideas and inspiration from 3 different pilot actions regarding the future of rural areas
You can access to the introductory note and slide presentations here:
- Introductory note, by Ana Seixas, Ministry of Environment and Climate Action, Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union;
- Rural areas in the perspective of the Territorial Agenda 2030, by Elisa Vilares, Ministry of Environment and Climate Action, Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union;
- ESPON Policy brief on the Future of Rural Areas, by Wiktor Szydarowski, ESPON EGTC;
- Understanding how sector policies shape spatial (im)balances, by Patrycja Artymowska, Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy, Poland (TIApilot@mfipr.gov.pl or Artymowska@mfipr.gov.pl.);
- Small places matter: Understanding how small places can boost their role for the development of a wider territory by Jan Edoy, Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation, Norway (Edoy@kmd.dep.no);
- A future for lagging regions: Fostering the implementation of spatial strategies by Sina Redlich, Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development, Germany (Redlich@BBR.Bund.de)
The key words to the question ‘What words come to your mind about the Territorial Agenda and the future of rural areas’?