In a world of cities, where 68% of the global population will live in densely populated cities in 2050, around 29% of the total EU population today lives in rural areas (Source: United
Nations). The European countryside faces existential challenges that range from the decline and aging of its population to the scarcity of job opportunities and basic services, passing through the risk of missing the technological train, with the consequent danger of socio-economic and political marginalization that this implies. stage. If we take a look at digitization, with a vital role in the growth and competitiveness of economies, we find that the
digital divide is 14% on average in the EU, but reaches up to 23% in some Member States such as, for example, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece and Portugal.
This also translates into a feeling of abandonment that can lead to unexpected scenarios, such as the proliferation of a feeling of euro skepticism that, for example in the United
Kingdom, has led to the departure of the British from the EU. Despite the challenges ahead, there are opportunities to reinvent the rural world. Rural Plus is proposed as a tool to
continue supporting this process, offering opportunities and tools, as well as greater synergies, to connect with rural populations, involving them in the construction of the Union.
The objectives of the project are:
-Improve knowledge and communication, through the training of rural mentors and the use of a language and tools adapted to the local context. The Union continues to have a problem communicating its policies and projects to the public and if the conference on the Future of Europe and the EU Youth Strategy seem to help, there is still a lack of someone to act as a bridge between the institutions and the local population.
-Reduce the technological deficit and the participatory barrier, offering quality training opportunities that empower young people and adults, as well as creating spaces for citizen participation through communication channels such as radio, social networks, blogs and newsletters .
-To promote the inclusion of young people and women in the rural world, groups that usually face barriers in access to education, the job market or access to services, but also with regard to citizen participation. Similarly, women living in the countryside continue to be underrepresented in the agencies in charge of planning rural development plans and the distribution of funds.
-Contribute to creating more cooperative and functional urban-rural links that make it possible to improve the socio-
economic system of the rural world, increase its population and thus enable the reactivation of essential services such as education, health and transportation