Businesses face problems in rural and remote areas promoting Continual Professional Development due to lack of engagement with educational institutions. One of the objectives of the hearing is to present relevant civil society proposals to help rural and remote areas address challenges in vocational education and training, while contributing to recommendations on how they can be tackled.
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For the first time, UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner paid visit to the EESC, the institutional representation of organised civil society in the EU institutional set-up.
On Wednesday 25 March 2015, the Various Intersts' Group of the EESC held an extraordinary meeting in Riga, in the form of a large conference, to mark the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
The Keynote addresses were given by Andris Piebalgs, Former EU Commissioner, Advisor to the President of Latvia on: "Economic growth and social progress in Latvia – the influence of the energy sector" and Sergejs Kruks, Professor of Riga Stradina University who will address the issue of "Latvian crisis management: social and communication aspects."
With the backing of the EESC, seventy European rural organisations will gather at the first European Rural Parliament in order to place issues of rural communities on the agenda of the European Union and to make an impact on the policies shaping their lives. The European Rural Parliament will be held on 13 November 2013, from 09.00 AM to 17.00 PM in Brussels, at the European Economic and Social Committee.
The EESC organised on 13 April a public hearing with experts and civil society representatives on the EU's rural development programmes (RDPs).
The conference reviewed the strategic direction of the funds and evaluated their contribution to rejuvenating rural areas, in particular the most disadvantaged. The aim was to highlight good practice and draw attention to potential weaknesses of the programmes.
Following the first European Rural Parliament, the Croatian Rural Development Network (HMRR), with the support of the EESC, will organise in Baranja the 1st Croatian Rural Parliament
The event will gather representative of rural communities from all over the country to discuss possibilities and prospects for development in Croatian rural areas and to see how they can make an impact on the policies shaping their lives.
The first Cork Declaration, adopted on 9 November 1996, forthrightly requested "a fairer balance" of public spending and investments between rural and urban areas. In the new Cork 2.0 Declaration adopted on 6 September 2016, there is only one concrete proposal with the potential to have a meaningful impact: the so called "rural proofing" whose aim would be to "systematically review other macro and sectorial policies through a rural lens".
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted on 17 September 2015 an own-initiative opinion on Rural Development Programmes. The EESC Opinion reviews the strategic direction of the rural development programmes and evaluates their contribution to revitalizing rural areas. In the preparatory phase of the opinion, the Committee organised three public hearings with experts and civil society representatives. At the 3rd hearing, held in Helsinki on 9 June 2015, we heard how these aims are put into practice in Finland through entrepreneurship, farm diversification and initiatives that encourage women's involvement, in particular.
The EESC hearing on 14 February 2017 was an opportunity for all people who were interested in rural issues to meet, present work in progress and exchange ideas and knowledge – and get inspired by examples of successful projects and initiatives in other rural communities. Together we thought of better ways to empower the rural communities to play their full part in addressing vital policy areas such as food security, renewable energy, environmental protection and job creation.
This conference is the final step of an EESC project launched within the follow-up to the opinion "Towards a more balanced territorial development in the EU" (NAT/615).