The Network of Sparsely Populated Areas of Southern Europe attended the 17th edition of the European Week of Regions and Cities, participating in conferences and meeting with MEPs to transfer the extreme situation of depopulated territories and the need for policies and financing from the European Union to reverse it.
The European Week of Regions and Cities is one of the most important annual events that take place in Brussels, for four days experiences and policies are exchanged to move towards Territorial Cohesion. The SSPA Network participated in the different conferences that have been held as “Smart villages”, “Shrinking Regions”, “Improving Basic Services for Sparsely Populated Regions”, and they have noticed an increase in the number of events and talks related to sparsely populated and rural areas with respect to the last edition.
The SSPA coordinator, Sara Bianchi, intervened in these conferences exposing the proposals of the Network to reverse the depopulation in a comprehensive and long-term way, and stressed that “in the Conference we have seen different areas connected with the rural environment as mobility, basic services, internet access, and one of the main themes has been the Multiannual Financial Framework ”.
The Network met the new Spanish Europarliamentarians Cristina Maestre, Isabel García, Mazaly Aguilar, and also with Clara Aguilera who also participates in the Intergroup of the European Parliament “RUMRA & Smart Villages”, on rural areas sparsely populated, mountainous and remote communities, which SSPA is included. In these meetings they have addressed the challenge of depopulation and how it affects southern Europe, exchanging approaches on how to act in Europe, regions and town halls to curb it and keep people alive. The SSPA has transmitted to them the extreme situation of the sparsely populated territories and the need to face it with policies and financing from the European Union to reverse it.
The SSPA Network with its work continues to add support to address the problem of depopulation, spreading its comprehensive position to reverse it, continuing to contact other entities sensitized to the problem, and closely following the European debate on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2020-2026 .
As representatives of the Network of Southern Sparsely Populated Areas, the coordinator, Sara Bianchi, representatives from LAGs: Joaquín Lorenzo (Teruel)and Jose Luis Merino (Cuenca), as well as a councilor from Cuenca, Beatriz Moreno participated in the European Week of Regions and Cities.