SSPA makes its contributions to the OECD to address territorial development in Europe

SSPA makes its contributions to the OECD to address territorial development in Europe

The coordinator of the Southern Sparsely Populated Areas network has participated as a speaker in a Conference held in Évora (Portugal) on the link between basic services and population density in which responses were sought to improve the siuation taking into account its cost and technological advances.

The Southern Sparsely Populated Areas network has made its contributions on European territorial development to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in an event in the Portuguese city of Évora.

Thus, the SSPA coordinator, Sara Bianchi, has participated in a Conference organized by the OECD in which the cost of providing basic services such as education, health and services to the elderly was linked to population density, focusing on political responses to national, regional and local level to improve the provision of these services, taking into account cost generators and technological advances.

In this way, the Southern Sparsely Populated Areas network is confirmed as a qualified agent and sees its work recognized internationally by collaborating with the OECD, which is an international cooperation agency to coordinate its economic and social policies.

Sara Bianchi said that “it is not easy to stand out in such a large context and with so many actors, so this recognition is more important. We are sure that our proposals are necessary to address the problem that affects the depopulated territories of Europe and see how international agents recognize them as valid confirms that we are working in the right direction”.

In addition, they point out that the network itself is an example of collaboration of different agents such as business organizations (CEOE CEPYME Cuenca, CEOE Teruel and FOES) and local action groups, with the support of the credit unions of these territories (Globalcaja, Caja Rural de Teruel and Caja Rural de Soria) and some public administrations.


The SSPA emphasizes that some aspects of its strategy are penetrating outside of our country, such as seeking to attend basic services through new technologies or completing internet technology in depopulated populations, so that its coverage is comparable to that of large cities and therefore they can compete in a global market like the one we are in.

On the other hand, SSPA asks to adapt the legislation to the reality of the territory, so that the laws do not negatively affect the depopulated areas and prioritize those provinces with more inhabitants. They also consider vital incentives to diversify the economy, involve the population of these territories and give it an active role and encourage collaboration between different levels of public institutions.

The SSPA Network participates in a workshop of the Committee of the Regions to transfer proposals to the European Commission

The SSPA Network participates in a workshop of the Committee of the Regions to transfer proposals to the European Commission

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.

The SSPA network meets with MEPs for depopulation in the European Week of Regions and Cities

The SSPA network meets with MEPs for depopulation in the European Week of Regions and Cities

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.

The SSPA network transfers the situation of depopulated areas to European technicians, at the request of the European Commission

The SSPA network transfers the situation of depopulated areas to European technicians, at the request of the European Commission

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.