The European Commission launched a new interactive guide mapping all funding opportunities available at EU level for rural areas. The Rural toolkit gathers funding opportunities from 26 different EU funds, from the Common Agricultural Policy to Cohesion Funds, Horizon Europe and the Recovery and Resilience Facility.

In just a few clicks, rural entrepreneurs and local authorities can find out the best funding available to help them develop their project. This newly launched comprehensive gateway to EU funding and support initiatives available for rural areas aims to equip applicants with the knowledge and tools needed to address local needs. Beneficiaries may be local authorities, institutions, businesses, associations and individuals.

The new tool offers automatic translations in all EU languages. An interactive funding finder allows users to filter existing schemes based on several criteria:

  • their role or organisation;
  • the activity they want to implement (for example, improving infrastructure, addressing societal challenges, strengthening the local economy, enhancing climate resilience and sustainability);
  • the type of support they are looking for: grants, financial instruments (such as loans and guarantees) or technical assistance likeadvisory services, training, mentoring programmes, support networks, etc.

After narrowing the choice to the most relevant options, key information about current programmes and initiatives is available in printable factsheets. These explain how each option is relevant for rural areas, and include practical details, links to calls and relevant contact points.

The Rural toolkit also provides extensive guidance on how to make the most out of available opportunities. Users can get inspired and explore a wide range of examples and case studies, discovering how EU funds and support mechanisms have already been implemented successfully in rural areas across the EU. Many inspiring stories are displayed on a clickable map.

The resources section offers guidance documents, reports and manuals on EU funding opportunities for specific sectors, including broadband, culture, education, energy, environment and tourism. Additional background material can be consulted on the Frequent questions and About pages.

The Rural toolkit is part of the Commission’s long-term vision for stronger, connected, resilient and prosperous rural areas in the European Union. The EU’s rural areas cover 83% of the EU territory and are home to 30% of the population.