Joint CoR-EESC Conference "Cork+20: leaving rural areas behind is no longer an option!"

09/11/2016   | 9.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m.| Committee of the regions, 101 rue Belliard, 1040 Brussels - room JDE 51

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 overall trend seems to be now towards a less ambitious and resolute consideration for the well-being and interests of the rural areas. The concept of "rural preference" in the allocation of public funds, which was supposed to become the cornerstone of the nascent rural development policy twenty years ago, is now nowhere to be found. The only positive development seems to be the preference given to a more bottom-up approach – in contrast with the top-down orientation of the original declaration – which has demonstrated its validity in community-based initiatives such as LEADER and CLLD.
This joint conference had a double objective:
1) To discuss with the Commission, the Parliament and the Council – under the rotating presidency of Slovakia –the current state of rural territories, twenty years after the first Cork declaration.
2) To urge them to come up with concrete measures on how to implement the "rural proofing" of all EU policies, which will imply the review of the EU structural and regional strategies.

Contact Person:  
Organizer: CoR NAT Commission secretariat, EESC NAT Section secretariat
Phone - Mobile: +32 (0)2 282 2161; +32 (0)2 546 8768 -