The latest news from the PURPLE network
Click any of the articles to expand.

ROBUST reports endorsed

Apr 6, 2022







PURPLE is delighted to announced that the reports which it authored as a key element of the Horizon Europe project ROBUST have now been approved by the assessors appointed to oversee the project's delivery.

PURPLE has published four key deliverable reports as outputs within Work Package 6 of the project:

  • A series of five complementary "Topic Papers" gathered together into a single document
  • A guidance document on governance arrangements relating to rural-urban linkages and synergies
  • A series of Policy Recommendations which make specific reference to 20+ EU level policy instruments
  • A project Manifesto - calling for 30+ specific actions to be taken forward to build upon ROBUST's work and findings

The assessors' report concludes that the Topic Papers report: "is very convincing and of great use for policy makers at EU, national and sub-national levels or anyone else with an interest in how policy might be contextualised in the context of rural-urban linkages and synergies between rural and urban actors, interests and places".

The Policy Recommendations are described as "well prepared", constituting "a rich set of policy recommendations arising from the work and findings of the ROBUST project and arrived at over a period of four and half years between June 2017 and November 2021".

The Manifesto meanwhile is judged to be "an important and extremely practical study that can serve not only as a set of rules and guidelines for policymakers, but also as a map of directions for further research useful for the scientific community".

PURPLE General Assembly announced

Apr 3, 2022

PURPLE President Mrs Helyn Clack is delighted to announce that the 35th PURPLE General Assembly will take place in Brussels on June 15th 2022 with a gathering for all current members and invited guests due to take place on the preceding evening.

The General Assembly meeting will be the first occasion since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic that members have been able to gather together in one place and to meet face to face.

Further practical details will be made available in due course, in case of any queries in the meanwhile, please contact:



PURPLE and Interreg Europe 2021-27

Mar 25, 2022

The PURPLE Working Group continues to follow developments with the new Interreg Europe programme for 2021-27 as the opening of its first call for proposals approaches on April 5 2022. 

Working Group members have continued to deliberate upon possible topic areas with a clear peri-urban dimension upon which there may be opportunities to collabrate across regions from north, south, east and west Europe.

In the run-up to the call's launch and its accompanying public event, members are looking at the possibility of developing viable project ideas based around subjects such as:

  • Peri-urban landscape governance strategies
  • Peri-urban mobility plans
  • Strategies for managing peri-urban land use
  • The role of peri-urban rail systems and services as part of broader regional development strategies

Further ad hoc and more formal meetings are scheduled to take place between now and the first application deadline on May 31 2022. Anyone who is interested in becoming involved in this work is invited to contact Vincent O'Connell at





ROBUST project - final review meeting with the EU

Mar 17, 2022

PURPLE Secretary General Vincent O'Connell was pleased to be able to play an active part in the third and final porject review meeting relating to the Horizon 2020 project ROBUST (Rural-Urban Outlooks: Unlocking Synergies), which took place virtually on March 3rd 2022.

Reprsentatives from six project partner organisations met with officers from the European Commission's European Research Agency, as well as with two indepenedent assessors appointed by the EC so that they might support, challenge and ultimately to make informed decsions as to success or otherwise of the project in meeting its objectives and contractual obligations.

The meeting was an opportunity to explain in detail the work and findings of the project, and was a chance for O'Connell to talk through the rationale and content of four separate written deliverables for which PURPLE had had lead responsibility and which O'Connell had authored over the last months of 2021.

This work, which had been undertaken within work package six of ROBUST, was presented alongside numerous other outputs in all of which PURPLE had had involvement over the project's extended duration of 4.5 years. The EC will now consider the materials submitted and produce a formal assessment report as part of the formal project closure process.




Consultation responses compendium 2021

Feb 19, 2022

A compendium of PURPLE responses to various public consultation exercises made over the course of 2021 has been produced and is now available in the Lobby Group Resource Area of the website.

Subjects upon which PURPLE has contributed its views with various EU institutions include forests, smart travel, soil, organic production, urban mobility, land use, the new Interreg programmes, and the Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas.

Copies are also available on request by contacting: