Smart Villages Taskforces are supported by national experts to contribute to improving the Smart Villages support and policy framework at regional or/and national levels. Taskforces have specific and practical goals – defined in Taskforce action plans – for improving a specific policy area or support action of Smart Villages. They serve as platforms to exchange ideas between national, regional and local stakeholders. In particular, taskforces aim to improve the interaction among various funds and policymakers from various policy fields (CAP Managing Authorities; Managing Authorities of other EU programmes, e.g. Cohesion Policy; CAP Networks, etc.).

National Smart Villages Taskforces are running in Austria, Belgium-Wallonia, Czechia, Cyprus, Finland, Latvia, Poland and Portugal.

National Smart Villages Taskforce in Austria

In the AT CAP strategic plan three different interventions are to be used for implementing the Smart Village approach: the major strand is LEADER, there is also a CAP intervention for village-and city-center development (vacancy managements) as well as a CAP intervention designated to establish and operate regional innovation systems (innovation broker/enabler). The focus of the Taskforce is to clarify how to communicate about these three anchors and their managements for SV amongst the broader (rural) development system in Austria. Styria –  an active Austrian province, is involved as pilot to identify how to support LEADER LAGs and the villages in planning and implementing Smart Village initiatives – with a special focus on village center development.

Read the taskforce Action plan here
Read more about SV policies in Austria here

13 Dec 2023
1st Taskforce meeting
Initial meeting with stakeholders to kick off the taskforce

The initial taskforce meeting was mainly about informing participating stakeholders about the context of the Smart Rural Project and the role of the taskforce. All invited stakeholders agreed on setting up a taskforce and on common aims that should be worked on.
Read the report here.

13 Feb 2023
1st Workshop
Workshop with Styrian Taskforce members to clarify transferability of SV- concept to the Styrian approach for village center development.

Styria as one of the AT federal provinces which are most engaged in Smart Villages, acts as the regional branch of the
taskforce. With their special emphasis on village center development Styria pilots
the connection of the Smart Village approach to a thematically focussed development process on a larger geographic level. During the meeting, the AT expert provided background information on the Smart Village concept and on the genesis. The Styrian Village Center Coordinator explained the Styrian governance-approach for village center development. Together planning activities started with special focus on a LEADER-Workshop.

22 May 2023
2nd Taskforce meeting
Presenting and discussing the pilot- analysis of Styrian LEADER LDS

One main agenda point of the second taskforce meeting was presenting and discussing the pilot-analysis of 16 Styrian
LEADER LDS on the uptake of SV concept. Additionally the Styrian Taskforce members
introduced their Smart Governance approach for strenthening village centers.

24 May 2023
2nd Workshop
Pilot capacity- building/polic y-learning event for Styrian LAGs and Regional- managers

This workshop with approx 40 LAG managers and regional managers of the federal provice of Styria aimed at fostering clarification of the Smart Village concept, sharing views about roles and responsibilities and informing about the special approach in Styria for smart
municipal/city center development. See the full agenda here. It also unveiled potential for supporting LAGs and regional managers in their roles. Read the workshop report and lessons learnt here.

3 Oct 2023
3rd Taskforce meeting
Upcoming meeting


The next Taskforce meeting is expected to be dedicated to present and discuss complete 83 LEADER LDS analysis.

National Smart Villages Taskforce in Belgium (Wallonia)

The initial purpose of the Taskforce in Wallonia has been to analyse and disseminate the experience acquired in the Walloon context by key Smart Villages actors – such as LAGs, Economic Development Agencies and Digital Wallonia – to other rural actors unfamiliar with the process/approach, to prepare them to the future call for “smart territories” projects to be launched by Digital Wallonia in 2022. Through the work of the Taskforce, the gradual networking of the main rural actors concerned by the Smart Villages approach should make it possible to identify/define/specify the challenges to be met.

Read the taskforce Action plan here
Read more about SV policies in Belgium-Wallonia here

National Smart Villages Taskforce in Czechia

The Taskforce is based on the Atelier Czech Republic platform which is a non-profit organisation formed by members of national working groups for rural development and for smart cities and the national LAGs platform. A special feature of the Czech Republic is its 6,258 municipalities, of which 5,800 have less than 3,000 inhabitants –  therefore, Smart Villages development is very important for the country and the Taskforce will use a thematic angle to advance policy changes in the fields of energy communities, local businesses and medical services in rural areas.

Read the taskforce Action plan here
Read more about SV policies in Czechia here

National Smart Villages Taskforce in Cyprus

In Cyprus, the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy is already supporting scientific research, investing in innovative entrepreneurship, implementing a digital transformation reform, and designing the “Smart Cyprus Platform”. The Deputy Ministry is expected to take ownership of the Smart Villages Policy, supported through the CAP Managing Authority. The Taskforce is expected to suggest specific CAP policy interventions, securing that duplications are avoided. The Taskforce is built in a way that most of the relevant interventions and funding schemes are represented.

Read the taskforce Action plan here
Read more about SV policies in Cyprus here

National Smart Villages Taskforce in Finland

The Taskforce follows within its existing resources discussions and developments around policies closely connected to smart villages, e.g. energy, fibber, innovations, digital transition in order to make proposals on future cooperation and/or programming. In order to mobilise the concept on the village level, the Taskforce aims to integrate “smart village plan” in existing/ future village development plans, which almost all 4000 Finnish villages have in some format. The Taskforce will provide with background information and supportive data relayed through Finnish village movement and the regional NGO´s as well as LAGs to villages.

Read the taskforce Action plan here
Read more about SV policies in Finland here

National Smart Villages Taskforce in Latvia

The Smart Village approach is a new and an undiscovered concept for the communities in Latvia. The Taskforce aims to bring together representatives of various sectors and interests from various regions, thus promoting a holistic view and understanding of the concept of smart villages to create a support system for the smart village approach that goes wider than CAP Strategic Plan 2023–2027 and building policy co-responsibility. A short study will be carried out to prioritise the needs of rural communities.

Read the taskforce Action plan here
Read more about SV policies in Latvia here

National Smart Villages Taskforce in Poland

The purpose of the Taskforce in Poland is to help in using the opportunities created by CAP Strategic Plan 2023-2027, exploring the possibilities, and expanding the scope of financing the Smart Villages concept from various European funds and national sources and initiating technical assistance for interested parties. To achieve this purpose the Taskforce will be involved in preparation of the guidebook on Smart Village concept preparation and implementation in Poland. In addition, the guidebook could give some advice how to tackle with both on digital aspects of smart village and environment and climate issues.

Read the taskforce Action plan here
Read more about SV policies in Poland here

National Smart Villages Taskforce in Portugal

The Taskforce targets a specific Integrated Territorial-based Intervention – The Programme for the Revitalisation of Pinhal Interior (PRPI). The Taskforce have for purpose to build awareness, promote, support, and enable the introduction of the Smart Villages concept and approach in the design and implementation of the Transforming project P09. Villages. by designing a conceptual framework that includes the Smart Villages concept and approach in the Transforming project. With the results of the Taskforce in this specific territorial context it is expected that the work carried out can be expanded to the regional and national levels.

Read the taskforce Action plan here
Read more about SV policies in Portugal here