Recognition of rural territories as development and innovation hubs which contribute to the Europe 2020 strategy in the framework of a balanced relationship with urban hubs in order to achieve the goal of territorial cohesion enshrined in the Treaty of Lisbon.
White paper from the EC on rurality
The European Parliament is drawing up an own-initiative report on "How can the CAP improve job creation in rural areas?" The EP Rapporteur, Eric Andrieu (FR/PES), was appointed on 3 September 2015.
The NAT commission organised a joint event with the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Rural, Mountainous and Remote Areas on Rural territories in the 2014-2020 policies of territorial cohesion and inclusive growth, with Mercedes Bresso, MEP, president of RUMRA, Franc Bogovic, vice chair of RUMRA, Member of the European Parliament, and Corina Creţu, European Commissioner for Regional Policy.
The European Parliament is drawing up an own-initiative report on "How can the CAP improve job creation in rural areas?". The EP rapporteur, Eric Andrieu (FR/PES), was appointed on 3 September 2015. The vote in AGRI Committee is foreseen on 13/7/2016.
The NAT commission organised a second joint event with the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Rural, Mountainous and Remote Areas on Rural territories on 19 April 2016 "For a rural agenda in the programming period post 2020". All information is available at the link below
The NAT commission organised a seminar on "Rural areas as the key to economic, social and territorial cohesion in Europe - Governance and infrastructure in relations between towns, surrounding areas, regions and macro-regions" on the 9 of May 2016 in Innsbruck"
On 30 May 2016, Mr Buchanan addressed the CoR Forum on the EU - Urban Agenda and closed the Workshop on functional urban areas and urban-rural linkages
Mr Länts attend to the Cork conference on rural development on 5 September. The Cork Declaration doesn't mark the launch of the drafting of a White Paper on Rural Policy as requested by the CoR but mentioned that the opinion of the Committee of the Regions on innovation and modernisation of the rural economy is a valuable reflection on the prospect for rural and agricultural development.
A Joint EESC-CoR Conference "Cork+20: leaving rural areas behind is no longer an option!" was organised on the 9 November in order 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 and 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.
On 29 September 2016, the all-party agriculture committee in the European Parliament backed the proposals of S&D MEP Eric Andrieu on how the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) can improve job creation in rural areas. The report asked the European Union to take measures to stop the constant loss of farming jobs: between 2005 and 2014 almost one quarter (-23.6%) of agricultural labour input was lost in the EU. In order to respond to the current scenario of prolonged crisis and to the serious impact on employment, the CAP has to be granted with sufficient funding in order to continue fostering employment, promoting the sustainable development of agriculture and ensuring that rural areas retain their appeal. Only then can we guarantee the sustainability of the European model of farming, together with its environmental and social dimension.
The CoR opinion is mentioned in the new Cork declaration: "Considering the opinion of the Committee of the Regions concerning innovation and modernisation of the rural economy, the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on Rural Development Programmes as well as the valuable reflections by other rural stakeholder groups on the prospect for rural and agricultural development";
The CoR got the support of Mr Siekierski (PL/EPP), Chair of the EP AGRI Committee, for a white paper on rurality after the joint EESC-NAT/CoR-NAT meeting held on 9 November 2016;
The CoR got the support of Mr Andrieu (FR/PES), Vice chair of the AGRI Committee, Mr De Castro (IT/PES), PES coordinator on the white paper on rurality during the joint EP-AGRI/CoR-NAT meeting held on 29 November 2016;
The CoR study on the evolution of the European budget dedicated to rural areas is on the agenda of the next civil dialog groups meeting on rural development.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- wishes to draw attention to the fact that austerity measures and the general funding cuts for agriculture and rural development threaten the future viability of rural areas and thus contradict the principle of territorial cohesion in the EU;
- requests to increase overall EU financial support for rural development in order to counterbalance the growing concentration of agricultural production, which is leading to major regional disparities, and put a cap on transfers from the second to the first pillar;
- to consider, within the Multiannual Financial Framework mid-term review, allocating more EU funds available for local development in the 2014-2020 programming period;
- supports the call made by the European Countryside Movement (ECM) and the enlarged European Parliament Intergroup on Rural, Mountainous and Remote Areas to the Commission to draw up a white paper to serve as the starting point for a post-2020 development policy for rural areas and to strive for more differentiated approaches and take rural interests into account in all EU policy areas, as is currently the case for cities;
- regrets the results of the interim report on the implementation of the operational programmes which highlights the fact that at present, only 11% of ERDF funds are set to be allocated to rural areas;
- asks to modernise the vocational training opportunities on offer in rural areas and to tailor this to worldwide competition conditions and the needs of local businesses and to further develope ESF funding to vocational training in rural areas;
- calls, with the help of new-generation access networks promoting the implementation of the Digital Agenda for Europe 2020, for more intensive efforts to develop high-speed internet in rural areas;
- expresses its firm support for the local development coordination platform to be set up by the European Commission.