The conference “Combating rural depopulation: creating new opportunities for vibrant rural areas” organized by the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD) in Brussels had the participation of the SSPA Network

On Tuesday, May 22nd, this event was held in Brussels with the aim of putting the different actors working in the fight against depopulation in the different countries in contact. Another objective was to share initiatives through the representatives of eighteen member states, national and local, among them the Strategy against the demographic challenge of the Government of Spain, the local entrepreneurship initiative developed in Orea, the Pueblos Vivos project and the work of the SSPA Network.

During the different presentations, topics such as the reasons for the loss of population in rural areas and its effects on the future, the quality of life in rural Europe, the perception of citizens regarding the proximity of basic services were highlighted. European policies that support rural areas and different funds for their development. Throughout the day several workshops were held where success stories on mobility, entrepreneurship, inclusion of vulnerable groups, integration of immigrants, efficient use of available funds and local resources in an innovative way were transmitted.

The coordinator of the Network of Southern Sparsely Populated Areas, Sara Bianchi, has participated as a speaker at the closing round table of this day with representatives of the Department of Agriculture and Regional Development of the European Commission among others. In her speech, she spoke of the importance of having a legislative and regulatory framework that helps to promote all entrepreneurial activities and the empowerment of citizens. She underlined the importance of knowing the realty of the territory and of learning from the successful experiences that are working, adapting them to the needs of the different territories.

They also spoke about the EU’s Multi-annual Financial Framework 2021-2027, and about the European Parliament’s proposal that includes a series of important instruments to promote rural development. Although the implementation of national strategies to establish the main lines of action is necessary. As well as it is the presence of the agents of the territory in its definition, programming, control and evaluation.