This ENRD Seminar on ‘Smart Villages: Revitalising Rural Services through Social and Digital Innovation’ was organised within the framework of the EU Action for Smart Villages and is part of the broader ENRD thematic work on the topic.
The event gathered over 140 rural development practitioners and policy-makers from across Europe to identify the drivers and practical steps for creating an enabling environment for smart villages. The discussions highlighted the wide range of existing tools that can support long-term integrated strategies and rural communities in the implementation of projects that benefit their territories.
Showcasing the rich variety of social and digital innovations that are springing up across Europe, the event pointed to the importance of rural communities taking the initiative to boost rural services such as health, social care, education, energy, and mobility.
“Smart villages are all about making different policies work together to find better, smarter ways to promote holistic rural development.
It is about harnessing existing and emerging technologies and social innovations to add value to the lives of our citizens. It is about giving villages the tools to address their own challenges while also making a contribution to the bigger challenges facing society as a whole.”
Opening speech by Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development