Project info

Funding programme: Horizon Europe
Duration: 1 September 2022 – 31 August 2026
Coordinator: Institute for Rural Development Research – IfLS (Germany)


Rural Sustainability Transitions through Integration of Knowledge for improved policy processes

RUSTIK (Rural Sustainability Transitions through Integration of Knowledge for improved policy processes) aims to enable rural communities’ actors and policy makers to design better strategies, initiatives and policies fostering sustainability transitions of rural areas.

To this end, RUSTIK conducts research, collects and structures data, and develops new methods for policy design processes. The project’s concepts and findings will be developed in close cooperation with rural stakeholders and tested in the project’s 14 Pilot Regions.

The partnership consists of 31 partners from the rural development sector. The consortium includes researchers, Local Action Groups, local and regional authorities, and associations working in the field of rural development. Euromontana is responsible for the dissemination of RUSTIK results.

Expected impact

In the coming years, RUSTIK will contribute to the design of better policies for rural Europe. In particular, the project’s research is expected to provide a better understanding of the concept of functional rural areas and how it can be used to design future rural and urban policies. In this respect, RUSTIK will also help to improve approaches to rural impact assessment and to adapt rural proofing exercises at national, regional and local levels. As such, the project will contribute significantly to the concrete implementation of the European Union’s Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas in the territories.

RUSTIK will also support rural areas in planning their sustainable transitions and in designing the necessary policies to support these transitions. The collection of data and the development and testing of new governance approaches will help rural decision-makers to address these transitions.


Institute for Rural Development Research (coordinator)
Federal Institute of Agricultural economics, Rural and Mountain Research
Fundacion Empresa Universidad Gallega
Multicriteri MCRIT AIE
Ersilia Foundation
University of Strathclyde
University of Eastern Finland, Karelian Institute
Mapita Oy
Council for research in agricultural economics
University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical faculty
Countryside and Community Research Institute
Faculty of Agriculture University of Belgrade
Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization, Polish Academy of Sciences
The European LEADER Association for Rural Development
University of Sofia, Department of Sociology

GAL Montagnappennino SCRL
Regional Development Agency Eastern Serbia
Allium z.o.o.
LAG Troyan-Apriltsi-Ougarchin
Inter-branch organisation North Italy
Regional Council of North Karelia
Torridge District Council
Universidad de Santiago De Compostela
Regionalrat Wirtschaft Rhein-Hunsrück eV
Regionalverband Nockregion
Foundation for the Development of Polish Agriculture
Jan Kochanowski University
Sant Miquel de Balenya Council
Gloucestershire Rural Community Council
Axencia Galega de Desenvolvemento Rural
University Of Gloucestershire