This opinion considers the root causes, the negative impact on rural areas and highlights best initiatives to re-energise communities through the RDP and other support measures.
EESC calls for flexible and effective support programmes from the Commission and Member States
On the invitation of Staffan Nilsson, a former president of the EESC (currently Co-President of the Swedish Rural Parliament, a civil society movement), Istvan Komoroczki, a member of the Employers’ Group and EESC sections NAT and REX, attended the three day meeting in Örnsköldsvik, 440 km north of Stockholm. This event, organised every second year, coincided with the start of the election campaign and so all Swedish political party leaders – facing elections on September 9, 2018 – gladly accepted a call to express their views about the need to develop areas of the Swedish country-side and the ways and means of doing so. A brief report by Istvan Komoroczki will follow.
The Diversity Europe Group recently organised a structured brainstorming session aiming at encouraging its Members to think out of the box and to come up with ideas to feed into proposals for the Sibiu Summit on the Future of Europe. This session kick-started our Group's contribution to the EESC Roadmap 'From Cracow to Sibiu and beyond'.
Stakeholders stressed the importance of cohesion policy and the need for appropriate and effective funding
The EU-China Round Table's 14th meeting was hosted by the EESC in Brussels on 18-19 May 2016. The Round Table was set up in 2007 following a Decision taken by the 9th EU-China Summit, which acknowledged that the exchanges and cooperation between the EESC and its Chinese counterpart, the China Economic and Social Council (CESC), formed an integral part of the EU-China relationship. Topics on the agenda included ...
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.
Islands have special characteristics and therefore face particular problems. However, their very specific situation can also offer opportunities if, with the necessary effort from all parties concerned, policies are developed and implemented which create sustainable growth and, at the same time, job opportunities for the young generation, competiveness and innovation, whilst respecting the environment and cultural heritage. This conference is foreseen in the Smart Islands project, and is aimed at showcasing and discussing best practices to help islands develop in a sustainable and "smart" manner.
On 9 November 2016 the EESC and CoR organised a conference on balanced territorial development entitled "Cork+20: leaving rural areas behind is no longer an option". At stake was the European Commission's new rural development strategy, which would normally have to be inspired by the new Cork 2.0 Declaration that has been co-signed by stakeholders at the Cork conference on 5-6 September 2016.
Now is the time to put the Cork 2.0 Declaration into action.
The EESC opinion is the organized civil society's contribution to the follow-up of the Conference. At the public hearing on 3 May we discussed concrete actions for implementing the measures of the declaration. The trend towards a systematic prioritarization of urban areas across the whole set of EU sectoral policies must be reversed!