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New participatory EU hub for future policies and research for rural areas

On the 21st and 22nd of October 2019, one of the most ambitious public participation projects ever funded by the European Commission was launched.
This is SHERPA, Sustainable Hub to Engage in Rural Policies with Actors, a four-year project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, coordinated by ECORYS, together with other 16 partners including ALDA. The project's goal is to engage citizens, scientists, decision-makers and other relevant stakeholders in trying to redefine and refocus the European development policies and research agenda for rural areas. The interaction among researchers, policy-makers, and citizens will take place in up to 40 Multi-Actor Platforms (MAPs) placed in 20 Member States, and one EU level MAP, with the involvement of all project partners.
The project will thus set new standards in shaping a common vision for the future of rural areas and public participation. More in detail, SHERPA’s rural science-society-policy hub will contribute to policy development as follows: providing inputs about designing future research policies, with a focus on the preparation of work programmes under Horizon Europe; supporting the implementation of policies relevant to rural areas in the 2021-2027 programming period; setting the direction for rural policies in the following programming period (after 2027).
During the kick-off meeting of the project, the MAPs showed interest to work on service provision and well-being, climate change, digitization, sustainability, and agriculture, thus hopefully inspiring future engagement and evidence-based policy-making processes. The official website of SHERPA will be launched very soon together with its social media channels. Stay tuned!


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