ICLEI and adelphi, within the Support to the New European Bauhaus (NEB) Local Initiatives, produced this policy brief to highlight the importance of rural areas to address current sustainability and social challenges of the European Union (EU). The brief is an output of the technical assistance effort "BAUHAUS EUROACE Network of Villages for the Future”.
Villages are vibrant real-life laboratories for the NEB, which is set to become the newest EU Horizon Europe Mission. This document explores the key role that rural areas play for the landscape and communities of the EU, based on the experiences with the EUROACE villages that received support to align their vision for the future with NEB values. The policy brief acknowledges that villages are dynamic centres of rural societies, contributing distinct characteristics to the diversity of the European environment. Therefore, they require policy and financial support that honours their unique context and agency, rather than adapting approaches created for urban areas.