On 6 July 2021, a high-level discussion took place online on the subject of the long term vision for remote areas. Organised by EU40, the European Parliament’s RUMRA & Smart Villages Intergroup, and REInA (Rural European Innovation Area), powered by StartUp Olè.
The event was organised in line with the European Commission’s recent publication on a long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas, where the results of a Eurobarometer survey on EU agriculture and rural development were presented, along with the accompanying EU Rural Action Plan and Rural Pact.
Better connectivity in rural areas can lead to encourage some businesses to relocate in rural communities and enjoy lower input costs. This in turn will help diversify and develop the rural economy and decongest urban areas.
Dubravka Šuica, European Commissioner and Vice President for Democracy & Demography, spoke about how dramatic population decline and the change in demographics all affect Remote Areas. A participatory approach & action-oriented communication should be adopted and dedicated to Rural Areas specifically – the vision is achievable only if we are able to work together.
Jože Podgoršek, Slovenian Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, pointed out that Slovenian rural areas face many challenges & opportunities for development. It is not just about agricultural strategy, but a domain of many sectors: population growth & decline; biodiversity; and entrepreneurial activity.
MEP Franc Bogovič, co-chair of the RUMRA & Smart Villages Intergroup, highlighted the importance of connectivity and building optical connections, including Smart Village strategies and energetic transformations, as well as including young people in decisions, are all important in developing Rural Areas.
Emilio Corchado, Chief Executive Officer at StartUp Olè, offered the Startup perspective. Startups promote connectivity by bridging the gap between urban and rural communities. Startups create synergies, bring entrepreneurial funds, technologies & services that promote Remote Areas in various forms.
See the entire recording of the virtual event below!