Rural responses to the COVID-19 crisis

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The outbreak of COVID-19 has significantly affected all aspects of life across Europe. In addition to threatening our health, the pandemic is also posing serious challenges to our socio-economic systems. In rural areas, farmers, businesses and communities are particularly affected.

This page provides examples of projects and initiatives primarily launched by rural communities in coping with the COVID-19 emergency, supporting rural businesses and fostering solidarity with those more vulnerable in this exceptional situation. It also provides information about European Commission initiatives and actions aimed at alleviating the current difficulties faced by rural Europe.

We invite you to share your experience and projects! Please send your contributions via our tool Share your rural story

EU response

The European Commission is coordinating a common European response to the COVID-19 crisis, not only to support the healthcare systems of the EU Member States, but also to mobilise resources to support businesses hit by the crisis, including farm holdings, agri-food companies, and rural businesses. Find out more about the coordinated EU response to COVID-19 here.

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The European Commission proposed on 26 May 2020 a major recovery plan for Europe based on harnessing the full potential of the EU budget while aligning with the principles of the EU Green Deal and the European Digital Agenda. 

The recovery plan aims at supporting Member States to recover, repair and emerge stronger from the crisis, kick-starting the economy, helping private investment and addressing Europe’s strategic challenges. The recovery plan combines the 2021-2027 Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) and Next Generation EU, a temporary recovery instrument.