9:30 | Opening session

Welcome by Mr Peter Schmidt, NAT Section President and by Mr Stefano Palmieri, ECO Section President

Keynote speakers:

  • Ms Tom Jones, President of the European Rural Community Alliance (ERCA)
  • Ms Hilkka Vihinen, Research Professor, LUKE (Natural Resources Institute Finland), ROBUST Academic Partner, Vice-Secretary General of the Finnish Rural Policy Committee: "Unlocking Rural-Urban synergies: governance and policy perspectives"

10:00 | Session 1: Existing challenges, policy inconsistencies and obstacles to a more coherent and sustainable rural/urban development policy at EU level

Moderated by Mr Josep Puxeu Rocamora, EESC Member, Rapporteur of the own initiative opinion Towards a holistic strategy on sustainable rural/urban development 

  • Mr Kim Smedslund, PREPARE Partnership for Rural Europe: "Rural as equal partner – messages from rural Europe"
  • Mr Jakub Dvorsky, VIPA, Slovak Rural Parliament: "Rural challenges and obstacles seen through European Rural Youth Parliament"  
  • Mr Pol Huguet, Deputy Mayor for Green City and Sustainable Development, City of Manresa (Spain), Member of Eurotowns 

Questions & answers

10:45 | Session 2: Successful policies and initiatives that are already fostering more balanced rural/urban development

Moderated by Mr Aris Adlers, President of PREPARE Partnership for Rural Europe

  • Ms Kristiina Tammets, Estonian LEADER Union: "CLLD as a tool for rural-urban linkages and smart villages"
  • Ms Iita Prättälä, LAG Keskipiste, Leader: "Young people´s choice – rural or urban?" 
  • Ms Elena Di Bella, Director of Mountain and Rural Development Service, Metropolitan City of Turin, Eurocities

Questions & answers

11:30 | Break

11:45 | Moderated panel: Which policy framework and governance to achieve an EU holistic strategy on sustainable rural/urban development?

Moderated by Ms Piroska Kallay, EESC Member, Co-Rapporteur of the own initiative opinion Towards a holistic strategy on sustainable rural/urban development

  • Ms Marion Eckardt, President of ELARD 
  • Mr Josep Puxeu, EESC Member
  • Mr Lasse Frimand Jensen, City councilor Aarlborg (DK) & regional executive committee member ICLEI (local governments for sustainability)
  • Mr Mario Milouchev, Director, Rural development I and Pre-accession assistance, DG AGRI, European Commission
  • Ms Wallis Vandebrock-Goelen, adviser to the DDG for urban and territorial development and Head of the DG REGIO Project Group on the Long Term Vision of Rural Areas, DG REGIO, European Commission

Discussion with Members and stakeholders

12:50 | Conclusion