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S&Ds: Rural areas are key for our future. We expect the EU Commission and member states to take action right now

Date

13 Dec 2022

Sections

Agriculture & Food

The Socialists and Democrats welcome the positive vote of the EU plenary on the report: “A long-term vision for the EU´s rural areas”. This report aims to actively contribute for the construction of policies that meet the needs and aspirations of rural communities.

The rapporteur and S&D member, Isabel Carvalhais, said:

“It is an ethical and political imperative that men and women, children, young people, elderly people, vulnerable groups - all 137 million citizens living in rural areas - have the same conditions as any other EU citizen, in order to fully concretise their citizenship. For that, we need urgent action. 

“Now, the Commission must work to improve the synergies between the various EU funding instruments, while member states must address the specific challenges of rural areas during the implementation of their national plans.

“Covering 83% of the total EU region, rural areas are key in ensuring our food production and autonomy, safeguarding our natural resources, landscapes, and biodiversity, mitigate climate change and environmental deterioration, as well as preserve our cultural heritage. However, rural areas too often face enormous challenges such as population decline and ageing, low quality jobs, and difficult access to high quality health, education, financial or training services.

“If we want to protect our rural areas and develop the huge potential they embody, we need to take a step forward and immediately start working for the next programming period. The long-term vision must evolve into a true rural strategy at EU level, one that brings all different policies on board, supported at local level by national and regional rural strategies.”

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