Learn more about the Pact

Strengthened governance for EU rural areas

In 2021, the European Commission launched the Rural Pact, as part of its Long-Term Vision for EU’s rural areas. The Rural Pact provides a framework for cooperation between public authorities, civil society, businesses, academia and citizens, at the European, national, regional and local level. 

The Rural Pact contributes to achieving the shared goals of the Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas by facilitating interaction on rural matters. It aims at fostering mutual inspiration between all levels of governance and mobilise public authorities and stakeholders to act on the needs and aspirations of rural residents. 

Objectives of the Rural Pact

The Rural Pact has three objectives:

Rural Pact objective 1

Amplifying rural voices and bringing them higher on the political agenda 

Rural Pact objective 2

Structuring and enabling networking, collaboration & mutual learning

Rural Pact objective 3

Encouraging and monitoring voluntary commitments to act for the vision 

Participants in the Rural Pact

Five main types of participants can take part in the Rural Pact:

  • Public authorities
  • Civil society organisations
  • Businesses
  • Citizens
  • Academic and research and innovation organisations.
Rural landscape with Rural Pact's participants


Benefits of participating in the Rural Pact

Participating in the Pact means:

  • Contributing to keep rural areas high on the political agenda;
  • Sharing promising initiatives and learning from others;
  • Getting priority access to collaborative platform and events;
  • Being informed on developments on all themes of interest to rural life, including consultations.

The Rural Pact Support Office

The Rural Pact Support Office (RPSO) coordinates and implements the networking activities of the Rural Pact and its community with the ambition to achieve the Rural Pact objectives and the Long-term vision for EU’s rural areas. The RPSO is tasked for the next years to:

  • animate the members of the community as well as encourage and promote commitments to act;
  • identify and promote good practices that can inspire action in rural areas;
  • organise webinars for capacity building and peer learning, as well as high-level policy events;
  • support the meetings of the Rural Pact Coordination Group;
  • keep the community informed through the website, social media channels, the monthly newsletter and the annual Magazine.

The RPSO will build synergies and complementarities with all relevant EU policy networks and initiatives working on and for rural development to jointly contribute to stronger, connected, prosperous and resilient rural areas in Europe.

Read out more about their mission.

How to take part in the Rural Pact

Join the Rural Pact community

This is the first step to get the latest information on the Rural Pact. Over 2 350 organisations and individuals had joined by March 2024.

The second step is to take action. All Rural Pact community members are encouraged to explain how they want to act for rural areas. The idea is to identify actions that are specific and time-bound and can help achieve one or more of the Rural Pact objectives. A monitoring system will be designed to follow up on their implementation.

Information relating to privacy can be found in the privacy statement for the Rural Pact community and the privacy statement for the commitment canvas.


How was the Pact conceived?

The key partners in developing the Rural Pact proposal have been the Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social committee, the European Rural Parliament and networks under the common agricultural policy and cohesion policy. The European Parliament and the Presidency of the Council also contributed to the preparatory steps.

The Commission consulted the Rural Pact community on the first proposal through a survey (16-31 May 2022) and a webinar for European stakeholder organisations from the civil dialogue group on rural development and the common provisions regulation group (20 May 2022).

The final version was sent to all participants in the Rural Pact conference on 15-16 June 2022 and endorsed there after the community discussed how the various participants can translate the vision into concrete actions.