This own-initiative EESC opinion proposes that mechanisms and instruments to conserve and develop peri-urban agricultural areas should be promoted.
The EESC says that the first essential instrument must be social, political and administrative recognition of these peri-urban areas and their key role in the relationship between city and country.
To ensure that such areas are given recognition across Europe, the EESC proposes that a boost should be given to European action on peri-urban agricultural areas. Such action must recognise the values and roles of such areas and prepare the way for each country to draw up specific legislation on their protection and development, based on common fundamental criteria. In the EESC's view, the dynamic and sustainable development of peri-urban agriculture and the areas in which it is practised can only be ensured by allowing local authorities to play a key role. Moreover, in view of the precarious situation facing peri-urban agricultural areas and European peri-urban agriculture as a whole, the EESC believes it is essential to establish a European observatory for peri-urban agriculture that not only has a European perspective on peri-urban agricultural areas and the agricultural activity practised in them, but also acts as a reference centre for monitoring, analysing and raising awareness of the situation of peri-urban agriculture in Europe and a place where local and regional authorities and different European bodies can come together to discuss this issue, proposing initiatives for the conservation and development of these peri-urban areas and their agriculture.