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Rural Vision

The EU rural vision

EU’s rural areas cover 83% of the EU territory
137 million
EU’s rural areas are home to 137 million people
30% of the EU population live in EU's rural areas

A vision for rural areas towards 2040

Ten shared goals, summarised by four complementary areas of action emerged, embodying a long-term vision from, by and for stronger, connected, resilient and prosperous rural areas by 2040.

Diagramme showing the four pillars of the vision

How was the vision developed?

Engaging with stakeholders and citizens

The views of rural communities, farmers and businesses are essential in shaping a rounded vision for the future of rural areas. From the outset, the Commission has worked with the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD), National Rural Networks and support units, and stakeholder organisations to provide opportunities for sharing views and information with rural stakeholders and draw scenarios for the future of EU rural areas.

The Commission has also undertaken an open public consultation, allowing citizens, civil society and stakeholders to share their views, experience and expectations in relation to the long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas. It also provided a workshop package to encourage groups of rural citizens to explore their ideal vision for the future of their own rural area and feed their views into the process. 170 contributions were received from workshops organised in 19 EU countries involving over 3 000 rural citizens. The outcomes are summarised in the ENRD's Rural Voices report of June 2021.

The results of the consultation were presented during the Rural Vision Week, organised and supported by the ENRD. This week-long online event provided further opportunities for rural stakeholders – and all citizens who have an interest in contributing to a vibrant and viable future of rural areas – to participate, exchange views, and have their say.

Banner image with different members of the rural pact community


Results of the Eurobarometer surveys

Graph of Eurobarometer survey on EU agriculture and the CAP, 2020