On 21st October 2020, the RUMRA & Smart Villages Intergroup of the European Parliament held its first  General Assembly. The Executive Board, composed of the Co-chairs (MEPs Franc Bogovič (EPP), Clara Aguilera (S&D), Engin Eroglu (Renew) and Niklas Nienaß (Greens)) and the Vice-Chairs (MEPs Tomislav Sokol (EPP), Hannes Heide (S&D), Atidzhe Alieva-Veli (Renew) and Sarah Wiener (Greens)) and the Secretariat of the Intergroup had the opportunity to introduce themselves, as well as all the supporting NGOs. MEP Juozas Olekas (S&D) was elected to the Board.

The RUMRA & Smart Villages Intergroup kicked off its work with ambitious goals and the important task of  supporting the Commissions’ consultation on the Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas. The Intergroup will help create a tool-kit, which will serve as a practical resource for the development of rural areas across Europe, once said vision is adopted.

The European Commission announced a budget of €150 billion for the Just Transition Mechanism, a cohesion policy and long term plan for rural areas to implement the Green Deal, under Next Generation EU. The members of the Intergroup want to ensure that this money will be of benefit to the citizens and used in a sustainable way for developing the rural vision, mentioned above.

The RUMRA & Smart Villages Intergroup is composed of committed group of MEPs from the key political groups (EPP, S&D, Renew Europe & Greens), who have a deep understanding of the needs of rural areas and who are personally committed to change the current trend of rural brain drain. All  members share the same vision of creating a new, modern and human alternative for life in Europe, in which families move back to rural areas and simultaneously enjoy the advantages of the digital transformation.

The website https://www.smart-rural-intergroup.eu/ and the Twitter handle @IntergroupRUMRA were introduced. We invite everyone to follow us on these platforms and engage in the public discussions on these relevant topics!