This person in charge of the European Commission, in charge of drafting the future Vision Document on rural areas, has compiled the position of the Network of Sparsely Populated Areas in Europe on aspects such as demographic change, connectivity or low income.
The Vice President and Commissioner for Democracy and Demography Dubravka Suica, has met, among other organizations, with the SSPA Network, to make an analysis of rural areas.
The central axis of the meeting has revolved around the document that the Commissioner for Democracy and Demography Dubravka Šuica is drafting on the long-term vision of rural areas, and for which she wants to collect the different points of view of public actors and the most relevant private companies in the territory, on issues related to the challenges of rural areas, such as demographic change, connectivity, low income levels and limited access to services.
Members of the Intergroup RUMRA & amp; Smart Villages (Intergroup of the European Parliament related to sparsely populated, mountainous and remote areas, which promotes the integral development of these territories), together with some technicians from the Commission of the Agriculture and Rural Development and Regional Development departments.
For the Southern Sparsely Populated Areas network, the objective is to make rural areas highly successful and competitive territories in which more and more people choose to live, work, study and invest. For this reason, it has drawn up a document with a series of measures to address the demographic challenge, which has been presented to the European Commission through public consultation and whose key aspects have been commented on at the meeting.
Among these measures is the proposal for a definition of unpopulated areas, presenting the map prepared for the case of Spain by the SSPA, as well as the need to guarantee universal and quality access to telecommunications, including some of the proposals presented. through the Network to the Telecommunications Law, such as the proposal to “package territories” in all calls, to ensure that sparsely populated areas have the same speed and the same prices as in areas with a higher population density.
Another aspect to highlight of the document is the need to have legislation that understands and assumes the extreme disparity of conditions existing between the most vulnerable rural environment and the urban environment. This instrument is known in Europe as “Rural Guarantee Mechanism” and for the Network it should be participatory for civil society, both in the rural impact evaluation of the laws and regulations in force, as well as those to be adopted. hereafter.
In addition to encouraging financing from EU funds and programs in rural areas, which at this time is much weaker than that produced by those projects and initiatives that are developed from urban areas. And of course, the importance of transmitting the reality and the advantages that rural areas offer in a different way, promoting economic activity and social commitment.