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.).

The Taskforces are running in the following countries:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.