As the Smart Villages concept is gaining momentum among rural actors, this article presents the current state of play at both policy and grassroots levels. it outlines a series of recommendations for policy-makers – both about what to avoid and how to maximise the added value of Smart Villages in different contexts.
News: Smart Villages
A recently published book on ‘Smart Villages’, compiles articles from leading academics and practitioners in the field, offering a detailed insight into issues and developments that shape the debate on the topic.
Using country-specific case studies, the chapters examine how integrated and ICT-conscious strategies and policy actions focused on wellbeing, sustainability and solidarity could provide a long-term solution in the revitalisation of villages across the EU and elsewhere.
A collection of good practices supported through the Spanish Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) has been recently published by the Spanish National Rural Network (NRN) which aims to recognise and disseminate the added value of rural development in the country.
The brochure presents 34 project examples put forward from all regions, on topics linked to food supply chains, farm competitiveness, entrepreneurship and social innovation, knowledge transfer, environment and climate change.
The selection process involved project promoters, the support unit of the NRN, as well as regional Managing Authorities.
A public consultation has been launched by the European Commission on the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme for 2021-2027. The deadline is 11 September 2019.
Stakeholder views on the priority areas for EU digital infrastructure investments will help address existing connectivity needs across Europe. The CEF funding programme is of fundamental importance for the Digital Single Market, supporting trans-European networks and infrastructures in the sectors of transport, telecommunications and energy.
Are you involved in a project providing access to high-speed broadband internet? Apply for the European Broadband Awards by 6 September 2019!
A wide range of projects – big or small, rural or urban, private or public, advanced in implementation or not, and covering all technologies – are eligible to apply.
The Spring/Summer 2019 Edition of the Rural Connections magazine is available in English on the ENRD website.
Members of the Rural Development community who are making a positive difference in rural areas are featured in the ‘Rural perspectives’ section, including great examples of social and digital communications – from Ireland and at European level – and transnational cooperation projects in the tourism sector targeting a new kind of tourist and a report detailing the positive impact of the CAP on rural development in Poland. The regular news round-up includes the latest on the ENRD’s thematic work on Smart Villages and the Bioeconomy and a report on new rural credit services.
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A recent fi-compass publication describes a technical assistance initiative to support rural infrastructure and Smart Villages development, aiming to better inform EAFRD managing authorities about the use of financial instruments.
The use of innovative financial instruments and their efficient combination with EAFRD or EIB financing could boost investment levels in rural Europe, ensuring the sustainability of rural infrastructure financing in the medium to long-term. This responds to local needs by involving local partnerships such as LAGs and could help the development of the Smart Villages concept across the whole EU.
The initiative is promoted by the European Commission Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) in collaboration with the European Investment Bank (EIB).
This year’s EU Digital Day enabled EU Member States to pool resources to accelerate digital developments in agriculture and rural areas, among others.
25 EU Member States signed the declaration on ‘a smart and sustainable digital future for European agriculture and rural areas’, recognising the potential of digital technologies to tackle urgent economic, social, climate and environmental challenges facing the EU's agri-food sector and rural areas.
The platform brings together rural actors and universities, research centres, tech companies and local authorities, to connect and collaborate for the development of rural territories. The development of this innovative platform is closely linked to the concept of Smart Villages, contributing to improving the quality of life in rural areas.
The latest meeting of the dedicated ENRD Thematic Group (TG) – 6 June 2019 in Lormes, France – offered the opportunity to explore how this specific village in the region of Burgundy used a participative process to co-design a ‘village of the future’.
Throughout the on-site visit, participants witnessed the different aspects of the digital ecosystem created in the area within the context of the French approach to digitising rural areas. They further exchanged and learnt from similar initiatives and plans for developing local digital ecosystems in other Member States. Spanish and German approaches to digitising rural areas were also presented, together with an Irish initiative in Donegal.
You can further explore digitisation case studies and briefings on the ENRD Smart Villages Portal.