Members' Research Service By / April 13, 2021

Smart villages: Concept, issues and prospects for EU rural areas [Policy Podcast]

The smart village concept is gaining traction on the rural development agenda, coinciding with the ongoing reform of the common agricultural policy (CAP). A key element of this reform will be a new delivery model based on each Member State developing a CAP strategic plan.

© Jure / Adobe Stock

Written by Ana Martinez Juan and James McEldowney,

Although there is no legal definition of a ‘smart village’ within EU legislation, there are a number of distinguishing features associated with the smart village concept, with the involvement of the local community and the use of digital tools being seen as core elements. The concept implies the participation of local people in improving their economic, social or environmental conditions, cooperation with other communities, social innovation and the development of smart village strategies. Digital technologies can be applied to many aspects of living and working in rural areas. The smart village concept also suggests the adoption of smart solutions in both the public and private sectors over a wide range of policy fields such as improving access to services, developing short food supply chains and developing renewable energy sources.

The smart village concept is gaining traction on the rural development agenda, coinciding with the ongoing reform of the common agricultural policy (CAP). A key element of this reform will be a new delivery model based on each Member State developing a CAP strategic plan. In December 2020, the Commission published its recommendations for each Member State on the direction their plans need to take to achieve the CAP objectives and the European Green Deal targets. The Commission’s analysis highlight the gaps Member States must address if the Green Deal target of 100 % access to fast broadband internet in rural areas by 2025 is to be met. Much will depend on how Member States respond to these recommendations in drawing up their CAP strategic plans. The European Parliament has made a significant contribution to the smart village concept, taking part in a pilot project on smart eco-villages and supporting the European Commission’s 2017 action plan for smarter villages. The European Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee have meanwhile both indicated their support for the concept through events, opinions and communications.

Watch the video on ‘What is a smart village?’ on YouTube.

Read the complete briefing on ‘Smart villages: Concept, issues and prospects for EU rural areas‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

Listen to policy podcast ‘Smart villages: Concept, issues and prospects for EU rural areas’ on YouTube.

Images Languages

Broadband in rural areas
Broadband in rural areas
Smart villages: rural NGA broadband coverage in Europe

Български (jpg | pdf) – Español (jpg | pdf) – Čeština (jpg | pdf) – Dansk (jpg | pdf) – Deutsch (jpg | pdf) – Eesti Keel (jpg | pdf) – Ελληνικά (jpg | pdf) – English (jpg | pdf) – Français (jpg | pdf) – Gaeilge (jpg | pdf) – Hrvatski (jpg | pdf) – Italiano (jpg | pdf) – Latviešu Valoda (jpg | pdf) – Lietuvių Kalba (jpg | pdf) – Magyar (jpg | pdf) – Malti (jpg | pdf) – Nederlands (jpg | pdf) – Polski (jpg | pdf) – Português (jpg | pdf) – Română (jpg | pdf) – Slovenčina (jpg | pdf) – Slovenščina (jpg | pdf) – Suomi (jpg | pdf) – Svenska (jpg | pdf)

Graphic taken from the EPRS Briefing ‘Smart villages: Concept, issues and prospects for EU rural areas‘.


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