Smart house participates in the Interreg Europe RuralYouthFuture project. The project aims at improving employment opportunities for young people in rural areas and supporting the sustainable development of rural areas.


The COVID19 crisis has had a profound impact on the lives of young people. The increase in the unemployment rate since 2020 has been more pronounced among young people than among other age groups.

In addition, the pandemic has also opened up many challenges, such as new forms of work based on digital tools, creating an increasing demand for a new set of skills and competences.

This new scenario poses a major challenge to increasingly vacant and aging rural areas where young people are disadvantaged in terms of vocational training, digital skills and employment opportunities.

The goal of the RuralYouthFuture project is to improve the effectiveness of youth employment policies for sustainable rural development. Six policy instruments at municipal, regional and national levels will be discussed to address a common challenge: responding to the needs of young people in their rural territories by reducing inequalities with their peers in cities and combating aging and increasing emigration. Different approaches for developing common solutions will be presented through interregional experience exchange activities.

The partnership, which consists of public authorities, public organizations and non-profit organizations from 7 countries (EC, BG, SI, LV, PT, EE and BE), represents a wide range of experience and competences. They will seek appropriate and sustainable solutions to reduce youth unemployment and promote access to emerging opportunities, taking into account digital skills and new forms of work resulting from the pandemic. This will be a key element for activating rural development and retaining and attracting a young and skilled workforce to rural areas.

The planned knowledge and experience exchange activities will also strengthen the capacities of political groups related to youth employment policies and initiatives that support young people living in rural areas to stay in their territories, avoiding inequalities and brain drain, with more employment opportunities and better working conditions.

The project partners are:

– Galicia Europe Foundation, General Directorate for Youth, Cooperation and Volunteering (Spain) – leading partner of the project,

– Association Center for Sustainability and Economic Growth and Municipality of Peshtera (Bulgaria),

– Smart house, institution for research and sustainable development Martjanci (Slovenia),

– University of Latvia (Latvia),

– Association of Tartu District Municipalities (Estonia),

– Portuguese Institute for Sport and Youth (Portugal),

– Policyl Center KMOP ASBL (Belgium).


To achieve its goals, the project will consider the following political instruments: Operational Program ESF+ Galicia 2021-2027 in Spain, Integrated Development Plan 2021-2027 of the Municipality of Peshtera (IDP) in Bulgaria, Local Development Strategy of the Local Action Group Goričko 2020 for the programming period 2021-2027, in Slovenia, Guidelines for Children, Youth and Families 2021-2027, in Latvia, National Plan for Youth, in Portugal, and Tartu County Development Strategy 2040, in Estonia.

Project period: 1.03.2023 – 1.03.2027

Funded by the European Union.

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