Member of the European parliament, Vice-Chair of the Committee of Agriculture and Rural Development

Elsi Katainen is a Finnish Member of the European Parliament in Renew Europe Group on her second parliamentary term. She is member and vice-chair of AGRI committee and member of TRAN committee. She is teacher of natural resources and agricultural sciences by profession and has had dairy farm together with her family, currently ran by her son. Mrs Katainen acted as rapporteur for CAP transitional regulation on 2020 and she is her group’s negotiator on Biodiversity Strategy in AGRI committee. She has worked as a rapporteur in Horizon Europe’s agri cluster and shadow rapporteur for unfair trading practices directive in the food chain. Before joining European Parliament she served as a Member of Finnish Parliament for 11 years. During that time, Mrs Katainen also worked as a member of the regional board of Northern Savonia for eight years, with topics consist rural development, distribution of EU-funding and sustainable growth.

Views on Smart Villages and the EU’s Long Term Vision for Rural Areas:

I see that rural areas has lot to offer and it is the important base for the whole society. It is significant that we recognise that we don’t look it with narrow scope as the challenges are different on the level of the region or local communities. What come to practise of the vision drafted by European Commission, bottom-up approach needs to be in the centre of planning and implementation. The most critical infrastructure for rural areas are undeniably road network, broadband, local services as well as education. These are essential services for vibrant rural areas. Already now and in the future, even more attention will be paid for the teleworking possibilities and digitalization in rural areas.

EU must recognise the importance of appropriate level of funding for rural communities and development of rural areas.