Takeaways from the first Rural Pact conference

The first Rural Pact conference, which took place on 15-16 June, brought together (online or physically in Brussels) around 475 in-person participants and over 300 online participants from different Member States, politicians along with authorities and social and economic stakeholders from EU, national, regional and local levels, 46% of which live in rural areas.

The conference engaged participants in designing the Rural Pact and gathered commitments to achieve of the Long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas in a way that reflected the rural vision’s ambition and bottom-up character.

All the material from the conference (presentations, videos and graphic recording, and pictures) are now available on the event webpage. The proposal for the objectives, participants and governance of the Rural Pact, and which was sent ahead of the conference after consulting the community in May was presented by Vice-President Suica in the opening and endorsed at the conference. You will find the updated document here.

Any member of the Rural Pact community can take an active role in achieving the Rural Pact’s objectives. These commitments for action can be taken according to the resources each person or organisation can dedicate to this process. You can submit your commitment at any time here. These actions should ideally be new and specific actions that you are willing to take within a given timeframe. 

The conference was the start of a process to involve stakeholders in achieving the goals of the Long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas. The discussions will continue in the European Rural Parliament which will take place in Kielce, Poland between the 12th and the 15th of September. Please find more information on the event and how to get involved on the European Rural Parliament webpage.

The Czech presidency of the Council and the Committee of the regions will also organise an event on 27-28 October in Czech republic (more information to come soon).

At the conference, many of you expressed interest in finding out more about what the European Commission is doing under the Rural action plan. After the summer break, regular information will be sent out on actions taken in the various thematic areas, linking to the commitments that come in through the Rural Pact.