Flagship: Develop sustainable multimodal mobility and digital mobility services
Improving existing transport connections is a key priority for rural areas. To this end, sustainable multimodal mobility solutions and connections should be optimised, making use of digitalisation.
Building on its experience with urban mobility networks, the Commission is supporting the SMARTA 3 project, which aims to create a network of rural municipalities discussing and identifying mobility solutions and follows the two successful preceding projects.
Discover the actions from previous SMARTA 1&2 projects on rural shared mobility.
In addition, the Commission is preparing a new initiative to support the development of digital multimodal mobility services. These services will facilitate access to information, payment and booking of all mobility offers available on a territory.
Flagship: Rural Digital Futures
This flagship will foster the digital transformation of rural areas by:
- Seeking to improve digital connectivity: closing the gap between rural and urban areas and enabling universal and affordable access to high-speed connectivity using private-sector investments through complementary funding from national and EU funds.
See the Connecting Europe Facility call on 5G communities (open until 23 February 2023).
- Supporting the development of digital technology: digital innovation and new technologies contribute to the development of rural areas, through in particular Horizon Europe and Digital Europe Programme funding.
- Promoting the improvement of digital skills and entrepreneurship to benefit from digital transition, through the European social fund, the European agricultural fund for rural development and other European programmes.
- Providing a “Rural in digital” index to measure progress towards the targets of the digital decade and the closing of the digital gap between urban and rural areas.
Bridging urban and rural through the EU Urban Mobility Framework
The new EU Urban Mobility Framework was adopted on 14 December 2021.
The Framework includes specific actions to better integrate the urban, peri-urban and rural linkages in upgraded Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs), to be adopted next year.
Rolling out of broadband in rural areas
A new and strengthened support facility has been launched on 26 September 2022 to support the network of broadband competency offices setup at national and regional level (BCO network).
More about the Broadband competency office network.
Further promoting the digitalisation of the agricultural sector
The CAP, Horizon Europe and the Digital Europe Programme are key instruments supporting the digitalisation of agriculture through trainings, advice, innovation, investment among other actions.
Main lines of action are:
- Digitalisation strategies as part of the common agricultural policy strategic plans
- Actions under the European innovation partnership for agriculture on digital agriculture
- Large-scale pilot projects under Horizon 2020 (IOF2020 – Internet and food farming 2020, DEMETER and ATLAS)
- Research and Innovation on digitalisation of agriculture under Horizon Europe, including dedicated calls related to the use of data technologies and drones in agriculture, or the Horizon Europe candidate partnership on “Agriculture of data”
- Digital innovation hubs, testing and experimentation facilities for artificial intelligence in agri-food and the common European agriculture data space under the Digital Europe Programme.
Enhancing rural areas accessibility through the use of drones
The Drone Strategy 2.0 adopted on 29 November 2022 involves all parties concerned at local, regional and national levels to make sure that safe and secure drone operations are deployed, both in urban and rural areas in a fair and sustainable manner.
More about the Drone Strategy: Creating a large-scale European drone market