Europe, Private sector development, innovation and knowledge-based economy, Research

The cost of non-rurality – preparing for a better urban-rural balance in EU funding


The European Commission adopted its long-term vision for rural areas in 2021. The vision is an expression of the political will to raise awareness of both the needs and potential of rural areas. In terms of inclusiveness, the vision is aimed at reversing the feeling of being left behind and the geography of discontent. However, having been published after the decisions on the current MFF (Multiannual financial framework), the vision has not yet been anchored in the financing instruments at EU level. The Commission intends to present its suggestions for the next programming period in 2023, in order to achieve the vision by 2040. As part of its foresight activities and in view of preparing its input for the next MFF, the Committee of the Regions (CoR) would like to gather information on the impact that population trends and interdependencies between urban and rural territories have on future policies and budgetary needs. The study commissioned to CASE shall provide data and scenarios for an appropriate rural-urban balance in future policy and budget decisions at EU level.

The study has the following objectives:

  • Provide an overview of the key trends shaping rural areas
  • Identify the most important building blocks of a balanced urban-rural development policy
  • Identify the costs and benefits of investing in rural development
  • Propose policy recommendations on EU policies and investment instruments related to rural development


Client: the Committee of the Regions

Lead partner: CEPS

Partner: CASE