Opinion Factsheet  

Revitalisation of rural areas through Smart Villages

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Opinion Number: CDR 3465/2017
Rapporteur: STENSON Enda
Commission: NAT
Status: Adopted
Date: 01/12/2017
 
Calls for greater ambition and the development of a targeted and forward-looking policy on Smart Villages with a view to the post 2020 period and for incorporating the initiative into the European Rural Agenda
Reiterates the view that efforts should be made to guarantee the same high speed telecommunications network capacity across the whole EU, as an indispensable pre-condition for the competitiveness and economic growth of rural areas.
Considers local and regional authorities are ideally placed to perform the function of innovation brokers to catalyse the potential of rural areas and in some cases already do in the form of development boards, enterprise offices, competitive tenders
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS:



- Calls for greater ambition and the development of a targeted and forward-looking policy on Smart Villages with a view to the post 2020 period and for incorporating the initiative into the European Rural Agenda

- Reiterates the view that efforts should be made to guarantee the same high speed telecommunications network capacity across the whole EU, as an indispensable pre-condition for the competitiveness and economic growth of rural areas and in accordance with the objectives set out in the 2020 Digital Agenda for Europe. Requests that loans be used specifically to develop broadband in rural areas and not for other measures

- Stresses that thought must be given to setting up positive interrelations between rural and urban populations and not only to making rural areas service providers for urban areas;

- Stresses the importance of giving local and regional authorities the power to initiate and manage targeted environmental measures and allow them to introduce territorial contracts, signed jointly with rural providers of sources of locally generated fuel/electricity.

- Considers local and regional authorities are ideally placed to perform the function of innovation brokers to catalyse the potential of rural areas and in some cases already do in the form of development boards, enterprise offices, competitive tenders

- Calls for simplification in the application for access to funding streams – in the current rural development programme

Importance

High
Medium
Low
 

EU Agricultural Outlook conference

The EU Agricultural Outlook conference has now become the key annual gathering of European stakeholders willing to engage and discuss the future of agriculture in Europe and the challenges which lie ahead. The fourth edition of the conference will be opened by Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner, Phil Hogan. Discussion on day one will involve high level panellists and will focus on digitisation and innovation in the farming sector but also on Africa. The second day will focus on the outlook for EU agricultural markets (crops, biofuels, meat and dairy), presenting the latest report produced with the support of the Joint Research Centre (JRC). The outlook and the changes to be expected will be debated by a panel of experts. Participants will include EU institutions, governments and international organisations, those involved in the food supply chain, market experts, academics, think tanks and civil society. Mr Enda Stenson Cros, rapporteur of the opinion "Smart villages" will be participating.

 
06 Dec
 

European Network for Rural Development (ENRD) Thematic Group

The sixth meeting of the Thematic Group (TG) on Smart Villages will bring together key rural development stakeholders from across Europe to exchange ideas on how EU policy instruments can support smart villages now and in the future, with a particular focus on LEADER, cooperation and the future digital strategies.

 
05 Dec
 

European Network for Rural Development (ENRD) Thematic Group

The fifth meeting of the Thematic Group (TG) brought together around 40 stakeholders from 16 different countries and a wide range of organisations to exchange ideas on how to design Smart Village strategies to effectively empower rural communities in different national contexts.

The meeting concluded that becoming a smart village was something to aspire to rather than being a measure or a method. Digitisation was seen as a key tool, but not the only one. Participants argued that policies should be inclusive and flexible to deal with very different contexts and that care should be taken to avoid additional layers of strategies and structures.

The main objective of the fifth meeting of the thematic group is to:
Exchange ideas about how to design Smart Village Strategies which effectively empower rural communities in different contexts. The discussions will be used as a basis for preparing practical orientations for policy makers looking to enable such approaches.

 
04 Oct