Flagship: Addressing climate change in peatland areas through carbon farming
This flagship contributes to building up carbon sinks by investing in rewetting wetlands and peatlands. It will offer great potential in terms of climate benefits.
The Communication on Sustainable Carbon Cycles, adopted on 15 December 2021, aims to:
- reduce our reliance on carbon;
- recycle carbon from waste streams;
- upscale carbon removal solutions that capture CO2 from the atmosphere and store it for the long term.
Learn more about the launch conference on 31 January 2022.
Flagship: A soil deal for Europe
The EU Mission “A soil deal for Europe” contributes to tackling soil challenges in rural areas, as well as in urban settings, fostering urban-rural linkages.
This Mission launched on 29 September 2021 is implemented through concrete research and innovation projects funded under Horizon Europe, living-labs and lighthouses, the advancement of soil monitoring, and greater societal engagement.
Learn more about the Mission, its objectives and related funding opportunities.
Flagship: Promoting social resilience and women in rural areas
This flagship includes actions to improve rural women’s entrepreneurship, participation in decision-making and investment in work-life balance services, including the European care strategy, dedicated networking activities and research and innovation actions.
The Commission adopted on 7 September 2022 the European Care Strategy, which:
- acknowledges the specific challenges rural areas are facing;
- commits to improve evidence on care provision in rural areas;
- proposes a framework for policy reforms to help close the gender employment gap, increase women’s empowerment and contribute towards gender equality, including by revising the Barcelona targets;
- commits to support Member States through the EU common agricultural policy network (EU CAP Network).
Learn more about the European care strategy.
The EU CAP network organised on 15-16 November 2022 the workshop "Advancing gender equality in rural areas in the EU”, which allowed institutions and practitioners to share data and exchange experience on three key areas:
- participation in decision-making;
- provision of services in rural areas.
Discover the workshop’s presentations and documents.
The EU CAP Network published an issue of the Policy Insight series on how to enhance the visibility of women’s success stories in agri-food value chains and rural development.
The Commission also funds projects on women-led innovation in rural areas under the flagship on research and innovation for rural areas:
Analysing spatial mobility and demographically declining areas in Europe
Three Horizon Europe funded projects starting in 2023 will:
- analyse the demographic, economic, social and cultural effects of mobility in European countries, from a sending and receiving side;
- envisage policies that counter brain drain and labour exploitation phenomena and enhance the joint building of human capital across regions and countries;
- identify effective policies to promote rural development and sustainability and address regional inequalities.
Assessing the working conditions of farm workers
The Commission is conducting a study on the working conditions of workers in the agricultural sector that will:
- assess the general situation of workers;
- examine how Member States enforce effectively legislation on working conditions;
- establish a baseline for the future assessment of the new social conditionality mechanism included in the CAP 2023-2027.
Learn more on social conditionality under the CAP
Supporting the inclusion of migrants in rural areas
As part of the implementation of the Action plan on integration and inclusion 2021-2027, the Commission is exploring options to build rural partnerships to promote inclusion and integration of migrants in rural areas.
Several EU funded projects are already exploring migration in rural areas – Discover their work:
- MATILDE – Immigrant integration in European rural and mountain areas
- SHARE network – Policy brief on integration in rural areas
- MIMY - Migrant Youth Integration & Empowerment
- WHOLE-COMM – Welcoming migrants in small communities
- Welcoming spaces - revitalizing shrinking areas by hosting non-EU migrants
Ensuring equal opportunities for rural children
In 2021 the Council adopted a Recommendation establishing a European Child Guarantee (ECG). In line with this recommendation, Member States will work together to establish a common monitoring framework to assess the implementation, including indicators for rural areas.
In 2022, most Members States have submitted their actions plan for 2030 for implementation of the recommendation on the European Child Guarantee. The European Commission is reviewing progress and reporting to the Council.
Learn more about the European Child Guarantee.
Addressing the needs of people with disabilities
The Commission is implementing the Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030 in cooperation with the Member States and Civil society in particular organisation of persons with disabilities. The strategy will also support improved access to their rights in rural areas.
The Commission is working on a guide for Member States to improve independent living and inclusion in communities, as well as developing a specific framework for social services of excellence for persons with disabilities.
Learn more about Social protection & Social inclusion
Discover the REBOUND project!
REBOUND is a two-year project under the Erasmus+ programme, kicked off on 1 February 2022. It is led by the Technological University of the Shannon (formerly Limerick Institute of Technology, Ireland) working with five partner organisations.
The aim of the project is to improve the resilience of rural communities, by analysing their needs and developing training programmes. These are turned into a pilot available for all.