Urban and rural disparities remain significant among European regions, and unfortunately these disparities are present within a country between urban and rural areas. Thus, according to the latest data supplied by the National Institute for Statistics, 67.5% of Romania’s resident population was served by a large water supply in 2017, with 96.9% of the population living in urban areas and 33.5% of the population living in rural areas being connected to the public water supply.
Thus, in the century of digitalisation and innovation, one third of Romania’s population is not connected to the public water supply. The unequal effects of the development process between urban and rural areas are mainly generated by the unequal access to basic services and to adequate infrastructure, as well as by the digitalisation and automation disparities. The access infrastructure, transport, public health and education are essential elements for any community, and their absence in rural areas exacerbates the irreversible process of depopulation even more. Therefore, I believe that investment to ensure these services are provided should be a priority.
What tools does the Commission have to support investment in rural areas and to reduce urban and rural disparities in the Member States?