Financing the integrated development of rural areas
The European Union is facing many challenges. These are not only social, economic and environmental in nature, but also political, with the European elections coming up in 2019.
At the end of June 2017 the Commission published a reflection paper on the Future of EU Finances. What with Brexit and its budgetary implications, as well as the emergence of new priorities (defence, security, counter-terrorism, migration), traditional policies could be called into question.
Among the many challenges facing the European Union in the future, better territorial balance is naturally one of the main concerns for local and regional authorities, which note that:
• the 7th Report on Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion in Europe still shows a significant development lag between urban and rural areas;
• poverty is more pronounced in rural areas than in urban areas;
• the sense of abandonment in rural areas translates into growing euroscepticism in these areas.
The European Committee of the Regions and the Rurality-Environment-Development network feel that genuine commitments need to be made regarding the development of rural areas in Europe, which is why they are dedicating a conference to the issue of funding for future development policy.
How should we fund development policy in rural areas so that they can continue to contribute effectively to the EU's ambitions?