Opinion Factsheet  

Revitalização das zonas rurais através de aldeias inteligentes

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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 rapporteur attended the ENRD conference on smart villages on 22 May 2018. This ENRD Seminar – under the heading ‘Smart Villages: Revitalising Rural Services through Social and Digital Innovation’ – was organised within the framework of the Villages. The event was opened by Phil Hogan, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development. It brought together a wide range of practitioners and policy-makers from all over Europe who have been developing projects for revitalising rural services through social and digital innovation. The Seminar enabled an exchange of experiences in the implementation of social and digital innovation in rural services and explore the role of rural and other policies in creating an enabling environment for Smart Villages. The event was part of the broader ENRD thematic work on Smart Villages.

The rapporteur attended the 4th meeting of the ENRD smart villages Thematic Group on 12 June 2018. The 4th Thematic Group (TG) meeting discussed the future direction of the ENRD thematic work, specifically, areas in which the TG could support the practical implementation of ideas behind Smart Villages. Representatives from the European Commission explained that smart village strategies can be broader than strategies for digitisation to also cover social innovation. Nevertheless, improved understanding of the concept is now necessary in order to move ‘from ideas to implementation’. A stakeholder survey - carried out within the framework of the pilot project ‘Smart Villages’ - revealed that a definition “should not be restrictive, but rather aim to inspire and aspire to”. In this context, the TG’s contribution could include orientations for policy implementers clarifying what the strategies could be and how they can be developed, while showcasing examples of using different instruments and funds and of jointed-up governance systems. These would be disseminated through both institutional and networking channels. At EU level, the priority will be to integrate the smart villages approach in the future CAP Strategic Plans and to ensure EU funds work together smoothly on the ground.

The rapporteur attended the 5th meeting of the ENRD smart villages Thematic Group on 4 October 2018. The 5th Thematic Group (TG) meeting exchange ideas on how to design Smart Village strategies to effectively empower rural communities in different national contexts. The discussions will provide a basis for the preparation of practical orientations for policy-makers.

Following the adoption by the Committee of the Regions of their recent paper on Revitalisation of Rural areas through Smart Villages and an ongoing process in Leitrim of Town regeneration, Leitrim County Council are hosting a national conference on Monday 22nd October 2018 in Lough Rynn, Mohill, Co. Leitrim to highlight the issues, opportunities and progress achieved in developing this concept.
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
 

Debate on Smart villages in the NAT Commission meeting

Debate on Smart villages in the afternoon of the NAT Commission meeting : Integrated strategic approaches to innovation in rural areas. 29 January 2019 – 14:30-16:30
JDE 51

  • How to promote the smart villages initiative in all structural policies after 2020
  • Inspiring projects and initiatives illustrating different aspects of smart villages

 
29 Jan
 

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
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