Feb 5, 2020
A representation of the Southern Sparsely Populated Areas network participated in Brussels in this meeting to share proposals on the Demographic Challenge that will be incorporated into a document that will later be transferred to the vice president of Democracy and Demography, Dubravka Šuica.
The SSPA network has actively participated in a workshop led by the Committee of the Regions in order to transfer its proposals on the demographic challenge to the European Commission.
A representation of the SSPA, headed by its coordinator, Sara Bianchi, has been responsible for making their contributions on this day in order to give the vision and problems encountered from this unpopulated area of Southern Europe, in addition to making proposals against this problem.
The participation of the SSPA network in this meeting is essential because a document will be made that will be delivered to the Vice President of Democracy and Demography of the European Union, the Croatian Dubravka Šuica.
The objective of this table is to provide an action plan to better support regions affected by demographic change such as the provinces of Cuenca, Soria and Teruel, Evrytania and Lika Senj, included in the Southern Sparsely populated areas netowrk , in addition to other areas severely affected by depopulation.
Within the interventions, the SSPA, through its coordinator, Sara Bianchi, made its political proposals among which is to make a broader approach to combat depopulation than the one that has been carried out so far, including aspects such as housing, basic infrastructure, business support, the attraction of human capital as sources of rural development.
Among other requests, they ask for plans for the implementation of high-speed internet connection, because, without this resource, companies in unpopulated areas will not be able to compete in a global environment, they also request to guarantee basic services and propose a fiscal policy that gives advantages to the sparsely populated territories.
Oct 10, 2019
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.
Sep 6, 2019
The European Commission has organized a training for the technicians of the different departments so that they know more about the depopulation situation, and there the SSPA Network makes known the situation of the depopulated territories of southern Europe and their approaches to address this big problem. 70 technicians from the European Commission have participated in this training.
The Department of the Directorate General of Agriculture and Rural Development requested a meeting of the network of Southern Sparsely Populated Areas (SSPA), which presented the situation affecting the sparsely populated provinces. As well as the general characteristics of depopulation that many territories are living in Europe, and especially the situation that affects many territories in the interior of Spain. They highlighted their strengths as the quality of the environment and their cultural heritage, and their weaknesses such as the loss of population and the lack of communication infrastructure, both physical and digital.
Another issue discussed during the training was the progress of the negotiations of the new Financial Framework. The SSPA network once again underlined the steps taken by the proposal of the European Parliament in which important references to depopulation and the arrival of funds are added.
The SSPA network, founded by the business organizations of Cuenca, Soria and Teruel that has the collaboration of the Leader Groups of the three provinces, conveyed the importance of defining the concept of depopulation at European level and above all to be able to specify which are the territories with serious and permanent disadvantages to be able to act as a priority in them.
As they do in Spain, the network has highlighted the importance of promoting a diversification of economic activity in order to generate development in depopulated areas, as well as work to transmit a positive and positive image of the Rural Environment. They also talked about the multilevel governance that is recognized in the European Parliament, stating that it has to involve the actors in the territory more, especially in areas that need more immediate aid, with the aim of working in an effective and long-term way.
The General Directorate of Agriculture and Rural Development can help guarantee access to digital connectivity with a quality service to the entire population, which is why they transmitted to him how this lack of communications is conditioning that these depopulated territories have fewer development opportunities.
The SSPA network has also met with the Employment Department of the European Commission to discuss the European Social Fund and its important work for depopulated territories.
On Friday, the Networks of Sparsely Populated Areas of Northern and Southern Europe, the NSPA and the SSPA met, with the aim of strengthening their collaboration, monitoring the annual forum held in Norway, and continuing to reinforce the lines that They lead to common actions in the European Union.
May 22, 2019
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.