The process leading to the Master Plan

Austria’s demographic development is characterised by a marked growth of the big cities and simultaneous population decline in peripheral rural regions. Every year, rural areas lose over 5,000 well-educated people to the Vienna area alone. If this trend continues, this will bring about a brain drift of over 50,000 persons in the next ten years.

Individual prospects are an important component in rural exodus. In our knowledge society the share of persons possessing higher education qualifications is rising. With a view to education and career, moving to central places where enterprises and institutions of the knowledge economy sectors are located is an attractive option for them.

Especially the migration of young women has adverse effects on the entire social and economic fabric of rural areas. With this in mind, strategic re-orientation and ambitious political priorities are indispensable for the future of rural areas.

The government programme of the Federal Government therefore provides for the preparation of the first Austrian master plan for the future of rural areas. Based on this strategy economic and living conditions of the country are to be improved systematically and the future of rural areas is to be safeguarded.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management takes the leading role in the coordination of Austria’s policy for rural areas. When developing the present Master Plan, it was a special concern of the competent Federal Minister, Andrä Rupprechter, to ensure that the options for action worked out match with the actual conditions of the regions and satisfy their needs in the best possible way.

The Master Plan was therefore developed in a broad-based process for stakeholder and citizen participation. The topics addressed showed great diversity as well and reflected the diversity of rural areas: They covered agriculture and forestry just as much as the economy, infrastructure and mobility, and the digital village.

published at 18.04.2018, Kommunikation und Service (Abteilung Präs. 5)