Future Oriented Collaborative Policy Development for Rural Areas and People (PoliRural)


Over the past 25 years, rural areas have experienced a sharp decline in population, caused by people, especially young citizens, migrating to cities. By 2050 the population in the European urban environment is expected to increase by 24.1 million, becoming the residence of half the European Union population. For now, rural areas are inhabiting a quarter and providing jobs for a fifth of the EU’s population, but the changes are inevitable.


The rural environment is largely chosen by seniors who prefer more peaceful lifestyle, thus replacing the young people and workers interested in farming. The European Commission has compiled data showing that only 5.6% of all farms in Europe are managed by people under 35 years old, while 31% of the farmers are 65 and older. Given the current situation, it is concluded that rural policy cannot keep track of the changes happening worldwide and is losing an increasing number of experienced and knowledgeable citizens with valuable skills in agriculture.


Apart from migration, a high pressure on the agricultural sector is also being made by the climate change, which increases farmers' responsibility for the preservation of natural resources and requires the hiring of skilled workers who are able to monitor the use of chemicals, carbon dioxide emissions, the use of renewable energy, etc. The monitoring of the operations concerned has a significant impact on the ecological aspects and landscapes of the surroundings in the managed area, which attract tourists and thus is the source of income. In many of the European Union' s rural areas, tourism has evolved greatly over the years, creating new jobs and additional income for existing farming.


PoliRural is designed to contribute to the development of rural policy. It brings together various experts and people living in rural areas, aiming to make the countryside more attractive to existing and potential citizens. For the project to be successful, it’s developed using the foresight methodology, which promotes collective learning amongst participants, thus ensuring greater involvement and interest in the success of the project.

PoliRural study areas include 12 regions together with Vidzeme Planning Region.