This edition of the EAFRD Projects Brochure profiles twelve participatory social and digital initiatives that are enhancing rural services in six key areas: multi-service hubs; health, education; mobility; energy; and digitisation of the village itself.
The examples showcase how rural communities can sometimes respond to the challenges they face faster than policy, using innovative funding solutions such as private sector investment and crowdfunding.
The Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) can provide complementary support to local communities at each stage of the transformation process of a rural area into a ‘smart village’: from the initial idea to successful scale-up.
- identifying new trends, opportunities and ‘wild ideas’ for rural businesses;
- business support approaches to help realise innovative business ideas;
- supporting access to broadband and digitisation opportunities; and
- building digital capacity.
This edition of the EAFRD Projects Brochure explores how Rural Development Programme (RDP) funding – co-financed by the EAFRD – has been used not only to support individual rural businesses, but also to create the kind of enabling environment that allows businesses to prosper in rural areas.
Supporting rural business usually means providing strategic interventions that can increase the likelihood of successful, self-sustaining economic activities in rural areas.
The projects highlight inspiring examples of how to provide advice, training and networking opportunities to rural businesses, as well as targeted investment in the digital and physical infrastructure needed by rural business, both on-farm and in other rural sectors of activity.
This edition gives a lot of attention to what happened at the major European Conference on Rural Development in Cork, Ireland 5-6 September 2016 – known as ‘Cork 2.0’. The thematic section has “A focus on… Cork 2.0", providing an overview of the event, the main messages of the workshops, the resulting ‘Cork 2.0 Declaration’ in full and a series of 20 different participant reactions.
The edition also includes the regular “News and updates” from the ENRD and the EU as well as the usual “Rural issues, Rural perspectives” section. This features a range of stakeholder voices on topics ranging from transnational cooperation to local consultation and from a growing European network of artists to the first ever rural digital hub in Ireland.
This edition of the EAFRD Projects Brochure presents examples of methods and approaches that have been used across Europe to deliver results on the topics of rural broadband, digital access to market, farm modernisation, market development, rural diversification and sustainable communities.
It hopes to provide inspiration on how to develop the strategies and tools for different types of rural areas to be economically competitive, while at the same time preserving their natural resources and social cohesion.