Two main policy areas have been identified for the current mandate, both fitting into the political priority of the institution
"Building resilient communities":
1. A Rural Agenda for Europe
The CoR has for a long time asked for the needs of rural areas to be recognised and addressed by a proper EU policy. In order to increase the attractiveness of rural areas as a place to live and work, it is necessary to fight depopulation, connect rural areas to the main EU transport corridors and guarantee universal broadband coverage, boost their recovery by better coordinating the Common Agricultural Policy, the ESI funds, the Recovery and Resilience Facility, and other relevant EU financing programmes.
The Commission's long-term vision for rural areas from June 2021 for the first time provides a comprehensive framework towards reaching these goals. NAT will also apply the rural-proofing for dossiers in its own remits.
Agriculture is one key policy which will contribute to the implementation of the agenda. The quality of the EU's agricultural products is one of the main added values of the CAP and one of the EU's key assets on international markets. Quality schemes implemented collectively are integral to the European Union's cultural, agricultural and culinary heritage. These quality schemes represent a shared heritage that must be protected and developed.
The NAT commission follows closely the implementation of the new CAP at regional level. In close cooperation with the AGRI regions networks.
The NAT commission works on resilient and sustainable agriculture to achieve the Green Deal objectives and to strengthen the
security of European food supplies, especially in times of crisis and shortage of provisions.
2. European Health Union
Despite the achievements of the regions and cities in fighting the pandemic, their role in building Europe's health resilience is largely unacknowledged. Vaccination campaigns, cancer screening, preparedness and response, the resilience of health systems, information and education about health – these are just some key areas where regional policy and practice make the difference. Advocating for a more visible role for the regions in the European Health Union and its pillars is the key objective of NAT works.
NAT leads on the CoR contribution to the Platform of the Conference on the Future of Europe.
In close cooperation with RegHub and Fit4 Future platforms, NAT also works on cross-border cooperation in healthcare, which is a very sensitive priority especially in time of crisis and health/humanitarian emergency in some border regions.
The commission for Natural Resources – NAT – covers the following policies:
- Rural development
- Public health
- Agricultural policy and food
- Civil protection
- Consumer protection
- Maritime policy – blue economy and fisheries