The Smart Village concept, initially launched in 2017 by the EU action for smart villages, is an important territorial tool to “strengthen the socio-economic fabric of rural areas” and to “modernise agriculture and rural areas by fostering and sharing of knowledge, innovation and digitalisation”.
It is conceived for rural communities, which are best placed to assess the challenges of their territories, such as depopulation, lack of basic services and economic opportunities, energy crisis, lack of connectivity and to test innovative and smart solutions.
The common agricultural policy (CAP) 2023-27 provides a supportive framework for rural communities and funding opportunities for the preparation and implementation of smart villages strategies. Under rural development interventions, Member States have the opportunity to design relevant interventions for supporting the emergence of Smart Villages across Europe under:
- Cooperation interventions, including LEADER and/or.
- Investments interventions, including infrastructure and basic services in rural areas.
Several CAP Strategic Plans have planned smart village strategies and projects through LEADER local development strategies, the dedicated cooperation intervention for smart villages or investments, including infrastructure and basic services.
Smart Villages initiatives are also expected to contribute to the Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas. Thus, the rural action plan includes an action to further enhance networking for LEADER and Smart villages, while EU CAP Network promotes several inspiring & innovative projects for rural communities and rural stakeholders.
More information about Smart Villages: