ensure coherence with previous CoR demands regarding a strategy for rural areas
highlight both the needs and the potential of rural areas for recovery and the green and digital transitions
contribute to the COFE, notably with a view to the geography of discontent
ensure financial and non-financial support for rural areas in the 2021-27 financing period (e.g. cohesion, CAP, RRF, rural proofing)
create a basis for a stronger focus on rural areas in the post-2027 programming periods, e.g. by spelling out expectations for the stocktaking exercise
Position the CoR as active player in the Rural Pact at EU level
The call for a rural agenda was included in the Marseille Manifesto as part of the LRA's message to the COFE.
The Council conclusions on the 8th cohesion report (2 June 2022) addressed the way forward for rural areas. The GAC also held a first exchange of views on possible adjustments to cohesion policy for the next programming period with a view to certain regions, including rural areas.
The high-level launch event for the Rural Pact on 15-16 June 2022 was co-designed by the CoR. The CoR organised the session "The local and regional dimension of the Rural Pact". The CoR was also represented in the high-level panels of the event.
The COTER/NAT study on rural proofing was welcomed by the ENRD thematic group on rural proofing. The study was also shared with the OECD in the context of its project on rural proofing in the health sector, together with the WHO.
The Commission's follow-up is outlined in its follow-up report https://cor.europa.eu/en/our-work/Documents/Opinions/follow-up-report-CoR-january-2022.pdf
The draft EP report (May 2022) shares several CoR positions. The votes in the EP committee and plenary are expected for autumn 2022.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- welcomes the long-term vision as a crucial step towards the sustainable development of rural areas and genuine territorial cohesion throughout the EU and regrets that the publication of this long-term vision comes after the conclusion of negotiations on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) 2021-2027;
- highlights the need for the Conference on the Future of Europe to take people in rural areas into account in order to reflect their ideas, needs and potential and ensure their ownership of the European project;
- stresses the need to ensure that mutually beneficial rural-urban linkages are integrated into all EU policies in line with territorial cohesion objectives by making the most of the strong interdependencies between rural and urban areas;
- highlights the urgency of putting in place a European Rural Agenda that sets out concrete proposals for immediate action to support the long-term vision and recommends that these concrete proposals be accompanied by resources, financial instruments and quantitative targets to ensure the effective implementation of the long-term vision;
- calls on the Member States and LRAs to apply the rural proofing approach to their strategies and investments under the current programming period 2021-2027, for the CAP, cohesion funds and the national recovery and resilience plans;
- confirms the CoR's commitment to working together with the European Commission to launch the Rural Pact this year and to developing a governance model that will allow all stakeholders involved to successfully implement the long-term vision.