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AEIDL launches its policy work of BEATLES and FUTURAL 

Jul 17, 2023 | News

In June 2023, the FUTURAL  (Empowering Rural Europe for a Sustainable Future) Horizon Europe project was launched in Athens. Addressing issues like depopulation, brain drain, aging populations, limited connectivity, and restricted access to public infrastructure and services, FUTURAL aims to enhance the resilience, sustainability, and connectivity of rural communities, ultimately improving the quality of life for citizens in rural Europe. 

AEIDL is leading the work on policy and governance framework recommendations, particularly in the field of Smart Villages. AEIDL, working with ERCA, PREPARE and others, will produce numerous essential outputs, including white policy papers and governance framework papers. By harnessing their expertise, AEIDL ensures that FUTURAL’s policy and governance recommendations align with the project’s overall objectives. 

FUTURAL brings together academic and research institutes, industrial companies, service providers, and non-profit organizations from various sectors, including IT, Social Sciences and Humanities, Business, Rural research, policy, and public administration. This multi-actor approach reinforces the project’s strength and ensures diverse expertise contributes to its success. 

FUTURAL focuses on technological advancements, and is pushing the frontiers of tailored policy measures for rural areas. AEIDL – fronted by our colleague Leticia Abarca– will actively engages with over 50 policy-makers, co-creating policy recommendations that will contribute to the future objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), specifically related to smart villages. 

In addition to their role in Policy formulation, AEIDL takes charge of organising FUTURAL´s stakeholder platform the EU Rural Innovation Forum (EU-RIF). 

FUTURAL is coordinated by the Agricultural University of Athens which also leads BEATLES.  

This project focuses on Co-creating Behavioural Change Towards Climate-Smart Food Systems is a Horizon Europe project (2022-2026) that aims to transform the way agri-food systems currently operate and accelerate the systemic and systematic transition to climate-smart agriculture and smart farming technologies. 

AEIDL is leading the EU Policy recommendations and tools which is scheduled to start in July 2023.  

In the coming months, Blanca Casares, Policy Expert at AEIDL, is focusing on developing: 

  • recommendations for policy formulation that will enable the transition to fair, inclusive, sustainable climate-smart practices, and behaviours. 
  •  tools for the adoption of sustainable, climate-neutral, and environment-friendly practices and behaviours. The tools will provide a toolkit for policymakers and implementers and may take various forms depending on stakeholder needs, such as guides, templates, indicators, checklists, practise briefs, policy briefs, and others. 

AEIDL is beginning by analysing the project’s five Use Cases reports related to the co-creation workshops to identify key policies affecting the transition to CSA, as well as key barriers and opportunities. This analysis will be complemented by key informant interviews. An initial report on key milestones in the current period of the CAP and negotiations for the post-2027 period is expected to be released in September. 

However, AEIDL work in BEATLES has started long ago as the project has started to produce important research in the form of a systematic mapping on existing “lock-ins” and “levers” that influence the adoption of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) in the European Union. For this research exercise, Serafin Pazos-Vidal, Senior Expert at AEIDL, conducted a systematic mapping of 100 publications to identify the role of the EU Common Agricultural Policy in the adoption of CSA and how it influences behaviour towards sustainable food systems. As you can see in this short summary of our work so far  the CAP is the best hope for achieving sustainable agriculture in Europe, but many of its potential is marred by dysfunctional inertia inherited from the past. BEATLES aim to provide a way forward in view of the post 2027 reform.