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(21 May 2021) - According to a focus group led by Marjorie Jouen (Jacques Delors Institute), a "Rural Semester" integrated into the European Semester would be a good tool to deliver a truly holistic policy for rural areas.

Rural
© European Union / Francesco Castellani

Launched in 2011, the European Semester has become over the years a powerful instrument of coordination between the European Union and its Member States.

In September 2019, the President of the European Commission announced her wish to develop a new long-term vision for rural areas (LTVRA).

The group’s proposal consists in engaging with the existing European Semester and ensuring that the full range of rural concerns – environmental, social, economic, digital, educational … - are reflected in it. A Rural Semester integrated into the European Semester would thus be a way of collectively engaging Member States to develop comprehensive policies for rural areas.

After explaining how the rural dimension may be included in the European Semester, the paper presents the motivations and the scope of such a cooperation / convergence process.

It then details the possible content of the policies reviewed, the specific targets and indicators, and the required conditions for launching and implementing the Rural Semester as part of the LTVRA.

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