Home 9 News 9 GRANULAR 9 GRANULAR General Assembly: progress over the last 18 months and the way forward 

GRANULAR General Assembly: progress over the last 18 months and the way forward 

Mar 28, 2024 | GRANULAR, News

28 March 2023 – GRANULAR’s General Assembly took place and retraced the progress and successes of the last 18 months and explored the way forward. Upcoming activities and results are topical in the framework of the current post-2027 EU Policy development as acknowledge by the EU Commission’s stocktaking report on the Long-Term Vision of Rural Areas 

18 months later: where do we stand?  

Tristan Berchoux, CIHEAM Montpellier and GRANULAR’s Coordinator, opened the meeting by providing a general overview of the progress made since the project’s start in October 2022. “GRANULAR is entering a new phase” where much more focus will be on generating academic knowledge and aligning it with EU and local needs.  

GRANULAR’s contribution to EU policy development has recently been acknowledged in the European Commission report ‘The long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas: key achievements and ways forward’. As Mr Berchoux underlined, in the upcoming months, GRANULAR partners will seek into creating further synergies with the EU Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas (LTVRA), with an emphasis on the operationalization of rural proofing, the development of a set of indicators to track progress in the LTVRA, and way in which the Commission can build on GRANULAR Rural Compass.  

The progress done so far: our results  

Partners presented the key project’s results achieved over the past year and half. These results ranges from GRANULAR’s work on mapping rural typologies in the EU, which contributed into conceptualizing rural diversity and setting up a prototyped version of the GRANULAR Rural Compass, moving towards the analysis of available rural data sources and methods and a benchmark of data performance and costs. In the framework of the GRANUKAR Knowledge Transfer Accelerator, two webinars were organised to present and discuss some of these results and their implications for future development.  

Action on the ground: hearing back from GRANULAR’s Living Labs  

The seven GRANULAR Living Labs are situated at the crossroad between the EU-level dimension of the project and local needs. After defining their Action Plans, they are now engaged in mobilizing local communities and local skills to implement identified activities at local level. Still unanswered, is how to make sure that local partners can read and use data for own uses. In the meantime, Replication Labs have produced a first set of Practice Abstracts, which are short summary documents on learnt lessons for the benefit of local actors and practitioners. The second year of the project will see Replications Labs more actively engaged in the project’s activities.  

Rural Datasets and Methods 

Currently, GRANULAR’s scientific partners are looking into different methods and datasets to describe rural dynamics. These vary widely, from looking into Facebook data, Tripadvisor and OpenStreet Map datasets to assess rural mobilities, seasonality and tourism dynamics in rural areas, Eurostat data for analysing living conditions in rural areas, web scraping for describing the evolution of real estate markets in rural territories and food systems and land tenure in rural areas. 

GRANULAR Digital Platform  

In 2023, GRANULAR launched its one-shop platform hosting datasets that can be used for describing and analyzing rural dynamics. Datasets are clustered by topic, data type and spatial extent covered by the datasets. In addition, a visualization tool is available to help users to read GRANULAR’s data on rural dynamics. This multilingual platform will continue to grow and include datasets as they are developed in the project.  

What is coming next?  

GRANULAR’s partners will continue their work on data downscaling and testing of disaggregation methods to provide more granular understanding of rural dynamics. Such work will contribute to the reflection of a GRANULAR Novel Rural Typology, whose final version is expected in 2026.  

Over the next months, GRANULAR will test its Rural Compass across its Living Labs and improve it on this basis. Further, data screening, data collection and indicator generation will continue to progress, with a focus on aligning these processes with Living Labs’ requirements and data needs.  

Months ahead will also unveil the first results from project’s review and development of a methodology for operationalizing rural proofing at multiple level (rapid rural proofing, standard rural proofing, enhanced rural proofing). A prototyped rural proofing approach of European policies consisting of three steps will be tested with Living Labs between April and May 2024. Several policies, such as the EU Care Strategy or the Soil Health Law, are currently possible candidate options. Outputs will be reported into the GRANULAR’s “Guidelines for Rural Proofing”.  

Recent news

Unlocking Rural Potential: The Launch of the Rural Toolkit

Unlocking Rural Potential: The Launch of the Rural Toolkit

A few weeks ago, February 6th, the European Commission introduced a groundbreaking resource to enhance rural development throughout the EU. The newly launched Rural toolkit serves as an interactive guide, mapping all funding opportunities available at the EU level for...

Towards a definition of Functional Rural Areas

Towards a definition of Functional Rural Areas

A recent publication from the Joint Research Centre suggests a methodology to define Functional Rural Areas in the EU, and currently seek for feedbacks. An approach based on functionality Shifting towards a functional approach is not new in the European Union. It was...

EU Launches a Strategic Dialogue on the Future of Agriculture

EU Launches a Strategic Dialogue on the Future of Agriculture

Brussels, Jan 26, 2024 - President Ursula von der Leyen has launched the Strategic Dialogue on the Future of Agriculture, a vital initiative aimed at shaping a collective vision for the EU's farming and food system. Chaired by Professor Peter Strohschneider, the...

The Rural Vision Magazine: Discover the 1st edition

The Rural Vision Magazine: Discover the 1st edition

Adapted from the Rural Pact Support Office’s news The inaugural edition of the Rural Vision Magazine has just been published. This first edition provides stories and information to inspire and drive progress in implementing the EU’s Rural Vision. This Magazine was...