Strengthened governance for EU rural areas
The Rural Pact is a framework for cooperation among authorities and stakeholders at the European, national, regional and local level. It contributes to achieving the shared goals of the long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas by facilitating interaction on rural matters between public authorities, civil society, businesses, academia and citizens.
Launched in December 2021, the Pact has been developed with other institutions, stakeholders and members of the Rural Pact community and the final proposal was endorsed at the Rural Pact conference on 15-16 June 2022. Elements of implementation such as the Rural Pact coordination group are still being elaborated and will come early 2023.
Read the endorsed Rural Pact proposal.
Objectives of the Rural Pact
The Rural Pact has three objectives:
- Amplifying rural voices and bring them higher on the political agenda
- Structuring and enabling networking, collaboration & mutual learning
- Encouraging and monitoring voluntary commitments to act for the vision.
Participants in the Rural Pact
Five main types of participants can take part in the Rural Pact:
- Public authorities
- Civil society organisations
- Academic and research and innovation organisations.
Benefits of participating in the Rural Pact
Participating in the Pact means:
- Contributing to keep rural areas high on the political agenda;
- Sharing promising initiatives and learning from others;
- Getting priority access to collaborative platform and events;
- Being informed on developments on all themes of interest to rural life, including consultations.
The Rural Pact Support Office
The Rural Pact Support Office (RPSO) coordinates and implements the networking activities of the Rural Pact and its community with the ambition to achieve the Rural Pact objectives and the Long-term vision for EU’s rural areas. The RPSO is tasked for the next years to:
- animate the members of the community as well as encourage and promote commitments to act;
- identify and promote good practices that can inspire action in rural areas;
- organise webinars for capacity building and peer learning, as well as high-level policy events;
- support the meetings of the Rural Pact Coordination Group;
- keep the community informed through the website, social media channels, the monthly newsletter and the annual Magazine.
The RPSO will build synergies and complementarities with all relevant EU policy networks and initiatives working on and for rural development to jointly contribute to stronger, connected, prosperous and resilient rural areas in Europe.
How to take part in the Rural Pact
This is the first step is to get the latest information on the Rural Pact. Over 1200 organisations and individuals had joined by the autumn of 2022.
The second step is to take action. All Rural Pact community members are encouraged to explain how they want to act for rural areas. The idea is to identify actions that are specific and time-bound and can help achieve one or more of the Rural Pact objectives. A monitoring system will be designed to follow up on their implementation.
Information relating to privacy can be found in the privacy statement for the Rural Pact community and the privacy statement for the commitment canvas.
How was the Pact conceived?
Open letter on the launch of the Rural Pact, from 17 December 2021
The Rural Pact is being developed with the Rural Pact community, which was launched in December 2021. It is composed of all stakeholders who support the shared goals proposed in the Communication. The Commission acts as a facilitator.
The key partners in developing the Rural Pact proposal have been the Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social committee, the European Rural Parliament and networks under the common agricultural policy and cohesion policy. The European Parliament and the Presidency of the Council also contributed to the preparatory steps.
The Commission consulted the Rural Pact community on the first proposal through a survey (16-31 May 2022) and a webinar for European stakeholder organisations from the civil dialogue group on rural development and the common provisions regulation group (20 May 2022).
The final version was sent to all participants in the Rural Pact conference on 15-16 June 2022 and endorsed there after the community discussed how the various participants can translate the vision into concrete actions.
The framework is still general and details of how the Rural Pact will work in practice are being discussed this winter 2022-2023, in particular how to setup the Rural Pact coordination group. Stakeholders are free to join this process at any time.