Building modern rural policies on long-term visions and societal engagement

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Domaine de recherche :
Environnement et ressources
Type de financement :
Type d'instrument :
Recherche & Innovation Action
Deadline :
Mardi 11 Septembre 2018
1ère partie : 13 février 2018
Budget indicatif :
6 millions d'euros par projet
Budget total :
12 millions d'euros
Code de l'appel : RUR-01-2018-2019
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À noter :

Specific Challenge:

The design of modern rural policies requires capturing and anticipating the long-term trends affecting European rural areas. The EU has already invested in rural research on a variety of issues, although the impact on policies has been insufficient due to the diversity of rural areas, the complexity of the problems at stake and the multiplicity of policy makers involved. The interfaces between science, society and policy makers need to be improved to enhance the use of new and existing knowledge, provide policy makers with the evidence they need and empower rural citizens to take part in policy-making, including designing future research priorities. In addition, there are still knowledge gaps regarding big challenges facing rural areas and how they will impact people and territories. One of the most important is demographic change. Current trends combine rural exodus, selective out-migration of women and young people and the arrival of newcomers, including migrants, highly-skilled former urban dwellers and retired people. The challenge is particularly acute in the farming sector. With 6% of farmers under the age of 35, as opposed to 55% who are above 55, the ageing of farmers is one of the biggest threats to food security, farming systems diversity, biomass provision and rural vitality in the coming decades. The situation is similar for small forest owners. A new generation needs to be empowered to take over. Beyond young farmers, who are supported by the common agricultural policy (CAP), a broader group of people referred to as "new entrants into farming" could contribute to generation renewal while bringing new approaches to farming and rural areas. This could happen provided they can overcome the many obstacles they face, such as access to land. Finally, long-term trends and changes are likely to increase disparities between rural areas faced with various constraints. Mountainous areas, which represent 15% of EU utilised agricultural area and are particularly supported under the CAP, are likely to be more strongly impacted by climate change, as well as by increased economic competition, due to geophysical conditions which limit productivity, production choices and adaptability. A deeper understanding of how rural communities, territories and businesses will evolve is needed to design new policies that would protect rural areas from the existing threat of decline and help them seize opportunities.


Proposed actions shall address one of the following sub-topics:


C. [2019] Building resilient mountain value chains delivering private and public goods (RIA)

Actions shall carry out foresight analyses of the development of primary production and related value chains and ecosystems in mountainous areas[1], in the coming decades, looking in particular at the positive and negative effects of climate change, of changes in policies influencing these areas and of broader socio-economic drivers. The analysis shall benchmark production and land-use systems with regards to their capacity to sustainably improve performance and resilience under changing climate and broader conditions while securing public goods provision for uplands and lowlands, taking into account interactions across scales (field, territories and ecosystems) and sectors. Particular attention shall be paid to new or emerging products or practices which could develop sustainably under more favourable climatic conditions. Activities shall cover a variety of situations representing the diversity of environmental and socio-economic conditions in European mountains as well as the diversity of mountain crop, livestock and forest-based products and value chains. Public engagement of stakeholders in the activities will be key to securing relevant results. Activities shall assess whether current policy approaches are fit for the future and shall deliver a set of renewed policy options, backed by a prior assessment of their possible impacts and accompanied by practical tools and recommendations to i) modernise relevant policy instruments available at EU and other governance levels (with a particular focus on CAP, quality policy, regional policy, climate and environment policies and innovation policy tools), ii) adapt value chain development strategies, and iii) secure long-term public good provision.


Expected Impact:

This topic aims to foster the design of future-proof rural policies. In the short to medium term, proposals are expected to:

  • translate visions of future trends and dynamics and understanding of the associated drivers into strategic options for policy design, delivery and monitoring and maximise their uptake by the relevant policy levels;
  • ensure a wide outreach and engagement in most EU Member States through a balanced and representative coverage of activities ;
  • improve the uptake of available knowledge by policy makers and open avenues for long-lasting mechanisms improving interfaces between society, science and policy makers;
  • help diversifying rural economic activities, improve the skills base and social capital by identifying and promoting policy options which enhance the attractiveness and sustainable development of rural areas and favour generation renewal ;
  • maintain and enhance sustainable primary production, income generated by value chains and ecosystem service delivery in mountain areas through adequate policies and integrated strategies .