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“Be ambitious for mountain areas” says Euromontana at first ENRD meeting on the Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas

The European Network for Rural Development (ENRD) launched a Thematic Group on the EU Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas in September 2020.  This expert group will contribute to highlighting the needs of Europe’s diverse rural areas and developing a strategic foresight for vibrant rural territories that will inform the EU Communication on a Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas (to be published in the first Semester 2021). Marie Clotteau, Euromontana’s Director, has been selected as one of the 50 members (from 260 candidatures) of this new expert group to bring into the debate the voice of mountains’ populations.

During the first meeting, held on 22nd & 23rd September 2020, Marie Clotteau was invited to share with other participants her view on the importance of this Long-Term Vision for 2040. She called for an ambitious prospective vision for rural and mountainous areas, supporting vibrant territories with people who live, work and travel in our regions, including young people. She also called for enhanced social and technologic innovations, including broadband coverage, to improve the resilience and quality of life of local communities, increase the provision of services of general interest and create new socio-economic opportunities. Our Director insisted on the fact that a strategic vision should also address the need for equal education offers for youth in rural mountainous areas, as well as for skilled employment opportunities, taking the advantage of the development of the bioeconomy and circular economy sectors for instance.

This first meeting was also an opportunity to share information on the current state of play of knowledge, notably on the on-going research projects working on foresight analysis in rural areas and to discuss on how to further support stakeholders engagements in the development of the vision in different parts of Europe. Indeed, in addition of the on-going public consultation on this Long-Term Vision (see Euromontana’s vision), the European Commission asked the experts to organise a series of workshops to widen the consultation of stakeholders.

The next meeting of the Thematic Group is planned for 2nd & 3rd December 2020. Euromontana hopes that this expert group will have a real impact on the Commission’s process, will help sharing our common vision for smarter, living and vibrant rural and mountain areas and will explore how different policy measures could support this vision.

29 September 2020

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