After two Thematic Group (TG) ‘labs’ focusing on ideas for the support framework for Smart Villages in the future CAP Strategic Plans in Finland and Poland, the TG organised the last lab to provide space for other Member States to share ideas and pose questions about how they are proposing to support Smart Villages in their own countries. The Managing Authorities (MAs) of Austria, Ireland and Slovenia presented their ideas for supporting their villages through a dedicated framework in the CAP Strategic Plan. At the core of their proposal is the use of LEADER, cooperation, support for investments and village renewal and the use of Simplified Cost Options.
The meeting pointed to the need for MAs to design a support frameworks in their CAP Strategic Plans in synergy with other EU funds and programmes such Cohesion policy and the Digital Europe programme. Horizon 2020 and the future Horizon Europe can be sources of inspiration and knowledge for triggering and supporting innovative action at local level.
Finally, the Preparatory Action Smart Rural 21 will continue the work on Smart Villages at European level, building on the knowledge developed by this Thematic Group. At national level, it is very important that rural stakeholder engage with Managing Authorities to help design the right support framework for Smart Villages in their respective Member States.