The project called PoliRural aims to make rural areas more attractive for life, work and investment

by Ing. Ján Csillag

A three-year long project named “Collaborative development of policies for the future of rural areas and people” was launched at the Czech University of Agriculture in Prague on 19.-21.6.2019 under the acronym PoliRural.

The opening meeting was attended by all 37 partners from 15 countries. PoliRural is a three-year project with a total budget of almost €6 million within the EU Horizon 2020 program which promotes the excellent European research. The project focuses on addressing the issues of rural development and biodiversity in agriculture. Rural depopulation, land abandonment and loss of biodiversity can be happening slowly, but the impacts are often irreversible. Policy creators may positively influence this process, if they have information on whether the current instruments are effective, for whom and to what extent they are beneficial, and what will be the key drivers that influence the future development, including their impact on people, planet, income and usage of land. If this information is to be truly useful in practice, it is necessary to step out of sectorial thinking and, in the common interest, join the efforts of many actors from different sectors. PoliRural will provide this knowledge by combining many key activities which are needed to design the policies that support rural areas, and which are effective, well-targeted, aimed at people, and supported by long-term outlook. Modern information technology and action research will be used. The wide range of partners includes not only the researchers, but also the self-government, civil society and the private sector. At the same time, those partners geographically represent all regions of Europe and Israel. The results of the project will be available to public and will serve as a basis for decision-making at different levels in order to better understand the existing and emerging challenges in the countryside, empowering the rural people and rural areas. The faculty of engineering at the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra will participate in the preparation of analytical materials and in the development of new innovative tools, as well as in their pilot phase of implementation to practice. SUA in Nitra will coordinate Slovak partners of the project: Agroinštitút, š.p., the city of Nitra, civic association Vidiecky parliament. Slovak company named KAJO s.r.o. will be responsible for a very important development of the technical side of the project. A software will be developed to enable the policy creators to create a model future scenario, enabling them to better understand and anticipate the regional impacts. The four aims of the project are:

  1. Create an innovation policy centre,
  2. Measure the prevailing attitudes towards rural policies,
  3. Explore future rural development trajectories,
  4. Develop new measures in cooperation with several stakeholders.

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