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RECOVERY AND RESILIENCE IN THE EUROPEAN RURAL AREAS. RESPONSE MEASURES IN THE CONTEXT OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Răzvan Voinescu

Euroinfo, 2021, vol. 5, issue 4, 46-60

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many of the problems that already exist and has once again highlighted the vulnerabilities of Europe's rural areas, particularly in terms of the specific needs of the population and the resilience of supply chains. This article looks at the response measures taken by the European Union (EU) since March 2020 to combat the socio-economic crisis caused by the pandemic outbreak. The analysis focuses on measures aimed at recovery and resilience of the agricultural and food sectors respectively: 1) direct support, 2) temporary relaxation of state aid rules,3) agricultural policy measures and 4) measures to safeguard the functioning of agri-food supply chains. Initiatives have had a variable impact on rural areas and the funds available under the Next Generation EU (NGEU) will be more difficult for beneficiaries in rural areas to access, partly because of the structure, priorities and implementation methods set out in the national recovery and resilience plans and partly because of the historically low capacity of rural areas to plan, access and implement actions financed by EU funds. In this context, a clear strategy is needed to avoid that recovery plans exacerbate the gap between rural communities left behind and urban areas aiming at sustainability and digitalisation.

Keywords: COVID-19; resilience; recovery; European Union; rural areas; support measures (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E65 F36 H50 R58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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