European shrinking rural areas: Key messages for a refreshed long-term vision.

Abstract
The paper begins with a discussion of the concept of 'shrinking', and its origins, outside the realm of rural development. Building on this, the paper shows the distribution of shrinking rural areas across Europe. Using both the project's literature review and findings from its eight case studies the socio-economic processes which drive demographic decline in rural areas are then described. A brief account of the evolution of EU interventions to alleviate the effects of shrinking, and some remarks about the current policy/governance landscape follow. We conclude by considering how a better understanding of the problem and process of shrinking may lead to more effective interventions, within the context of a refreshed long-term vision for Rural Europe. The latter needs to fully acknowledge the expanding repertoire of opportunities confronting rural areas as COVID-19 changes in working behaviour, and the geography of economic activity, accelerate, and fulfil, previously incremental shifts in technology and markets.
Description
Bibliographic reference
Andrew Copus Petri Kahila Thomas Dax Katalin Kovács Gergely Tagai Ryan Weber Julien Grunfelder David Meredith Mar Ortega-Reig Simone Piras Linnea Löfving John Moodie Matti Fritsch Adrián Ferrandis Martínez. 2021 European shrinking rural areas: Key messages for a refreshed long-term vision. Terra 8 280 309