In a landmark development, the European Union officially launched the Rural Toolkit on February 6, 2024. This dynamic guide is specifically curated for local authorities, institutions, stakeholders, businesses, and individuals, providing an invaluable resource on EU funding and support opportunities dedicated to fostering rural development within the European Union.
Highlighting the Key Features of the Rural Toolkit:
At the heart of the toolkit is a funding finder, offering users a seamless experience to explore a myriad of financing opportunities. The resources section complements this with detailed guides on EU funding opportunities spanning the period 2021–2027, with a focus on sectors like broadband, culture, education, energy, environment, and tourism.
The toolkit takes pride in guiding rural communities in executing integrated strategies and projects, including community-led local development (CLLDs) and integrated territorial investments (ITIs). By doing so, it facilitates the creation and execution of initiatives that effectively address the unique challenges faced by rural areas.
Unpacking the Practical Benefits of the Rural Toolkit:
The toolkit serves as a centralised hub, offering comprehensive information on existing initiatives and explaining their direct relevance to rural areas. Through the practical examples featured on the platform, it encourages knowledge sharing and peer learning among rural communities. The “Get Inspired” section further amplifies this by providing insights into successful initiatives implemented in rural areas across the EU, showcasing effective combinations of EU funds to maximise impact and address specific local needs.
Empowering users and applicants with handbooks and guidance on EU funding opportunities, the toolkit equips stakeholders with the knowledge and tools necessary to overcome the distinctive challenges encountered in rural areas. It actively promotes an effective, integrated, and place-based approach to rural development.
Navigating Funding Opportunities:
The toolkit acts as a gateway to various EU funding and financing initiatives, thoughtfully categorised into three main groups:
- EU initiatives: direct application
- EU initiatives: application via national or regional authorities
- Financial Instruments
Unlocking EU Funding for Rural Areas:
While not explicitly tailored for rural development, numerous EU funding programmes and initiatives play a pivotal role in revitalising and enhancing the quality of life in rural areas. However, navigating the intricate landscape of funding sources and understanding optimal utilisation can pose challenges.
The Rural Toolkit steps in as a comprehensive guide, offering assistance to local institutions, businesses, associations, and individuals in rural areas. By streamlining access to diverse EU funding and support options, the toolkit empowers stakeholders to maximise the benefits of available resources.
Aligned with the European Commission’s long-term vision for resilient, prosperous, and connected rural areas in the EU, the Rural Toolkit exemplifies how initiatives and practices, supported by EU funding schemes and policies, can contribute to the revitalization of rural communities and territories.
Access to the toolkit is here: https://funding.rural-vision.europa.eu/?lng=en