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.