Archive of 2021

ROBUST European Workshop on rural-urban governance

Oct 4, 2021

* ROBUST receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727988. 

The H2020 ROBUST project comes to its formal conclusion at the end of November 2021.

As part of its closing activities, PURPLE was co-orgainser with LUKE (The Finnish Institute for Natural Resources) and Wageningen University, of an invitation-only workshop aimed at EU, and local level stakeholders. PURPLE Secretary General, Vincent O'Connell gave a short presentation on five key principles underpinning rural-urban governance arrangements as part of the event.

Further details to follow.


* ROBUST receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727988. 

Horizon Europe and the peri-urban

Sep 11, 2021

As reported in an online news story published here in mid-June, the PURPLE Working Group is now  looking more closely at the Horizon Europe Work Programme for 2021 and 2022 and the possible opportunities for collaboration on issues of peri-urban interest.

The group returned to its deliberations when it met again on September 10th, and began the process of analysing a number of calls within clusters 5 and 6 of the programme which specifically highlight or otherwise reference the peri-urban. The group reaafirmed its commitment to actively pursue opportunties to collaborate with others stakeholders in formulating proposald with a clear peri-urban dimension as part of their design.

Subject areas highlighted in the course of discussions include:

  • Social science approaches to linking land-use and climate change planning
  • Food sharing
  • Logistics
  • Shared mobility services
  • Fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food systems 

Please contact to learn more about our discussions and planned next steps.

ROBUST* Workshop on rural-urban governance - update

Sep 11, 2021

Preparations continue in terms of developing the content and other arrangements for the experts' workshop on rural-urban governance, to take place on-line on Monday October 4th at 1.30 CET.

Attendance at this participatory workshop continues to be by invitation only with places filling fast as these are accepted by representatives of organisations from across Europe and beyond.

With three weeks to go until this half-day event takes place, and the exact programme to be finalised shortly, any queries can be addressed to:


* ROBUST receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727988. 

PURPLE Working Group - dates for the diary

Sep 11, 2021

The PURPLE Working Group has been meeting on a virtual basis over the course of the pandemic whilst travelling restrictions at national, regional or organisational levels continue to apply.

It has done so on a monthly basis over the spring and summer of 2021 and has now announced further meeting dates in light of its discussions on September 10. Further meetings have now been fixed for:

Friday October 22, 10.00 CET

Friday November 12, 10.00 CET

It is hoped that the gradual lifting of restrictins may then make it possible to hold the first face to face meeting in almost two years at some point in December.


PURPLE and the Long Term Vision for Rural Areas

Jul 1, 2021

In light of yesterday’s publication of “A long-term Vision for the EU's Rural Areas - Towards stronger, connected, resilient and prosperous rural areas by 2040”, it may be a timely moment to reflect on PURPLE’s past and present work on the LTVRA specifically and on future rural development more broadly.

PURPLE has been directly involved in the development of the LTVRA over the past months; it responded to both the Roadmap consultation and the public consultation which followed quickly in its stead last Autumn. PURPLE Secretary General, Vincent O’Connell was a member of the Thematic Group referred to a number of times in the Communication texts, which was in particular, charged with developing possible future scenarios as part of the foresight study led by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) within the European Commission. O’Connell participated in all five virtual meetings which that group held over the period September 2020 to May 2021 and in bilateral exchanges with the JRC subsequently.

PURPLE’s involvement in the topic of rural futures – and of course how these are inextricably linked to peri-urban and urban prospects - goes back much further though. For example, it joined the European Parliament and Committee of the Regions in calling for a Rural Agenda to sit alongside an EU Urban Agenda as far back as 2016 and Executive Board members have repeated that message at various public events, highlighting elements of the Cork 2.0 Declaration of 2016 (for example rural proofing), and consistently highlighting the connections and interdependencies between rural, peri-urban and urban places and people and how the demarcations between them are blurred and shifting, and typologies inadequate to capture that nuanced and changing picture.

PURPLE will be responding to the actual content of the published Communication and its accompanying papers in due course.

ROBUST project workshop - preliminary notice

Jun 20, 2021

A half-day workshop looking at rural-urban goverrnance issues has been scheduled to take place on the afternoon of Monday Oct 4th 2021. it will form part of the Horizon 2020 project ROBUST.

More details will soon be forthcoming of what is planned to be an interactive event with the chance for representatives from local and regional authorities to exchange experiences of ways in which rural, peri-urban and urban interests can be balanced and optmised in governance processes and arrangements.

To express initial interest in taking part and to be kept informed of developments please contact:


ROBUST receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727988.