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Événement
15 - 16 June, Bruxelles

The Rural Pact conference

The Rural Pact conference will bring together EU, national, and regional politicians along with local authorities, social and economic stakeholders in a participatory event that reflects the rural vision’s ambition and bottom-up character. This conference is organised by the Commission in partnership with the European Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social Committee, the European Parliament, the Presidency of the European Council and the European Rural Parliament.

Background and objectives

On 30 June 2021, the Commission adopted a Communication on the long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas. As part of this vision to create stronger, more connected, more prosperous and more resilient rural areas, the Commission committed to creating a Rural Pact. By bringing together the national, regional and local governance levels, as well as stakeholders, the EU Institutions and interested parties, this pact will be a framework for their cooperation, will support improved access to funding and contribute to ensuring the specific needs of Europe’s diverse rural areas are taken into account. 

The Rural Pact conference will engage participants in designing the governance of the Rural Pact and gather commitments for the achievement of the long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas. To do so, the conference will:

  • Engage all levels of governance and rural stakeholders in endorsing the goals of the vision and debating on how to reach them. It will put the spotlight on the key role rural areas can play in Europe’s future. The presence of high-level political and grassroots representatives will commit all levels of governance to taking the interests of rural areas into account. Frontrunners will present inspirational examples showing how they are already working towards the vision goals.
  • Involve participants in implementing the vision through breakout sessions where participants will indicate how they can contribute to achieving the goals of the vision. These sessions will identify common interests and areas on which the local, regional and national level could act individually and in cooperation with others. Since the European Commission has already presented and committed itself to an Action Plan, the actions participants propose will be collected and presented during the conference’s closing session and will be the basis for the Rural Pact’s work programme.
  • Increase the visibility of rural areas by involving high-level political guests from the European institutions and Member States in implementing the first comprehensive EU-wide rural strategy. This will be key to strengthen the positive potential of rural areas and strategic role for the future of Europe, and to generate buy-in from all levels of governance, to increase the impact of policy in rural areas.

Official program

Day 1: 

  • The national dimension of the Rural Pact
  • The local and regional dimension of the Rural Pact
  • Inputs from local communities and stakeholders
  • Revitalising rural areas lagging behind
  • Combining funds to achieve the vision goals
  • What evidence for better rural policies?
  • Cooperating across departments and governance levels
  • Empowering local communities and engaging stakeholders in building the future of rural areas

Day 2 : 

  • Rural youth as leaders of change
  • Digitalisation as a chance for rural areas
  • Community driven sustainable energy action in rural villages
  • Rural research and innovation ecosystems: social innovation, cultural tourism and creative industries, start-up villages
  • Sustainable mobility solutions to connect rural areas with urban centres 
  • Services for socially resilient and welcoming rural communities
  • Place-based approaches for rural development: LEADER, CLLD and Smart Villages
  • Social economy as catalyst to boost resilience and twin transition in rural areas 
  • The strategic role of rural areas for climate and food security

As well as many networking sessions. 

Practical information

  • Where : The Sheds (Tour & Taxis), Avenue du Port/Havenlaan 86c, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium
  • Languages : English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Spanish
  • Number of places : 450
  • Who should attend : Rural stakeholders and stakeholder organisations interested in working with and for rural areas from all sectors and fields of interest; local, regional and national government representatives; EU institutional representatives; Other interested parties
  • Organiser : Agriculture and Rural Development, Regional and Urban Policy
  • Topic : Agriculture and rural development

> To register
> To have a look at the official program

 

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