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New leadership for the Rural Pact Coordination Group

The second meeting of the Rural Pact Coordination Group (RPCG), held in Brussels on 7 November 2023, marked a pivotal moment in the advancement of the EU's Rural Pact. The key highlight of the meeting was the election of members to take new leadership roles, the Chair and Vice-chair, essential in guiding the future direction of the Rural Pact. This article delves into the significance of these elections and their anticipated impact on rural development debates across the EU.

On 7 November 2023, in Brussels, the Rural Pact Coordination Group convened for their second meeting. This gathering, focused on consolidating governance structures and fine-tuning strategies and actions for implementing the Rural Pact’s objectives, was especially noteworthy for the election of new leadership positions. 

The newly elected Chair, Radim Sršeň, Czech Deputy Minister of Regional Development & Member of the Committee of the Regions, and Vice-chair, Edina Ocsko, Coordinator of the Smart Villages Network, will now spearhead the group's efforts. Their roles are pivotal in navigating the Rural Pact's path, with a particular emphasis on enhancing EU rural areas' overall development and addressing the unique challenges they face. 

During the meeting, the group adopted its rules of procedure and extensively discussed the prioritisation of actions based on insights gained since their first meeting. The Chair and Vice-chair will play a crucial role in these initiatives, ensuring that the diverse voices of the Rural Pact community are heard and represented effectively. 

The RPCG, a network of up to 30 representatives, serves as a critical governance body in shaping the Rural Pact's trajectory (find the list of RPCG members here). It includes a balanced mix of stakeholders from different sectors, countries, and backgrounds, ensuring a comprehensive approach to rural development. 
 
Chair Radim Sršeň emphasised the group's goals and priorities for the coming months. He outlined the need for capacity building and launching an information campaign to make rural communities aware of the opportunities and tools available through the Rural Pact. Radim Sršeň's vision extends beyond agricultural concerns, advocating for a holistic approach to rural development encompassing various sectors like employment, education, health, and culture. He voiced that it is time for action on the ground. 

To learn more about the Rural Pact Coordination Group, their initiatives, and the impact of their newly elected leadership, we invite you to explore further information and updates available on our platform