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EU’s rural vision report shapes post-2027 policy direction

Apr 3, 2024 | EU Institutions

Authors: Carla Lostrangio and Miranda García (AEIDL)

On 27 March 2024, the European Commission made public a pivotal report that evaluates progress on the EU’s Long-term Vision for Rural Areas (LTVRA). This report marks a significant milestone as serves as a compass for the Commission, and in particular DG AGRI, guiding discussions toward shaping policies for the post-2027 programming period.

Divided into three chapters, the report unfolds with a detailed overview of new indicators and the latest data pertaining to rural areas. It then delves into a retrospective analysis of the last 30 months, providing a synthesised review of the steps taken and lessons learned since the vision’s inception in June 2021. The subsequent chapter outlines prospective pathways for the EU rural action plan and the rural pact, presenting an array of ideas and questions sourced from various EU institutions and stakeholders.

The CAP’s role in reinforcing the Rural Vision

Within its pages, the report emphasises the role of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in achieving the LTVRA objectives. The CAP has been relevant in creating ‘stronger rural areas’ through initiatives aimed at community empowerment and innovation. By advancing digitalisation, it has made ‘connected rural areas’ a reality, strengthening the very fabric of rural mobility and technology skills. Efforts to establish ‘resilient rural areas’ are clear in the CAP’s focus on environmental sustainability and social inclusion. Furthermore, the CAP has targeted economic growth with a push for ‘prosperous rural areas,’ diversifying economic activities and fostering job opportunities, with a keen focus on youth engagement.

What is this report relevant?

As the EU gears up for the post-2027 programming period, this report sets the stage for informed discourse and strategic planning, paving the way for a future where rural communities thrive amidst evolving landscapes. With the European elections on the horizon in June 2024, the opportunities for dialogue and collaboration are ripe, promising a collective endeavours towards realising the Long-term Vision for the EU’s rural areas.

On 27 March, the European Commission also released the 9th Cohesion Report which set out (DG REGIO and DG EMPL) first outline of the future of EU Cohesion Policy.

All this will constitute a significant in-tray for the new Commission priorities which will be unveiled in July and more in detail in September and October, with post 2027 legislation tabled in Spring 2025.