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On 1 June, the RUMRA Intergroup hosted a breakfast briefing to discuss the EU’s need for a rural agenda. Our Chair, MEP Mercedes Bresso, called for more interactions between rural and urban areas and presented a new RUMRA brochure to raise more awareness on this issue.

This event was an incredible opportunity to bring together industry leaders as well as an impressive number of Members of the European Parliament, including Chair of the URBAN Intergroup, Jan Olbrycht, and MEPs Jozo Rados, Franc Bogovic, Momchil Nekov, and Herbert Dorfmann.

All participants suggested solutions to better connect rural to urban areas.

First, speakers brought up the notion of territoriality to better bridge the gap between rural and urban areas. This can be done by improving basic infrastructure, transport and water supplies, or as MEP Mercedes Bresso said, by developing more integrated projects in rural areas.

Second, MEPs underlined the need for more funding towards projects supporting small and medium sized companies. To make this initiative successful, there is a need for a more transparent discussion in different regions, which will help gather more information about these regions, and translate specific needs into tangible action. Also, decreasing the administrative burden occurring when applying for a fund should also encourage people to apply for a fund.

The event was also an opportunity to discuss digitalisation and mobility. To this point, the speakers highlighted the importance of smart villages as well as smart cities, due to the lack of digital connectivity, affecting work flexibility and economic growth in more isolated regions.

This breakfast briefing allowed to better understand the growth potential of rural areas and reaffirm the RUMRA Intergroup’s commitment to help build political consensus and trigger growth for regions that are often overlooked.