– Arguments to the proposal of the European Commission

The European Commission has not addressed the demands, proposals and appeals made not only by our SSPA network, but also by the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions, the European Network of Demographic Challenges Regions: its proposal for cohesion policy EU territorial 2021-2027 ignores the demographic challenge and, in particular, in what concerns rural areas and sparsely populated territories and that suffer from serious and permanent demographic disadvantages. For this reason, after hearing the draft of the proposal of the European Commission for the next budget of the European Union (EU), which covers from 2021 to 2027, SSPA has decided to make allegations to it.

Understanding that we should all clearly say to the Commission that it must rectify the proposal, we leave you the necessary procedure so that you can participate, and use our claim as yours or as a reference to develop yours.

  1. Before you start, you can see the Common Provisions Regulation.
  2. To present allegations, you must register in the participation system.
  3. Once registered, you will receive an email to validate your registration, and then you will be able to enter the presentation system of allegations.

In the following link you can see and download the arguments of the SSPA network:

Opinion SSPA EU proposal post 2020

– The SSPA ask for a meeting with President Sánchez, at the proposal by the European Commission

Brussels does not include a specific fund to combat depopulation in its proposal for European regional policy for the period 2021-2027. However, the proposed regulatory framework remains open for negotiation within each country.

The European Commission proposal has ignored the demographic challenge facing the European Union, especially as it affects sparsely populated areas with serious and permanent demographic disadvantages.

However, the Network of Southern Sparsely Populated Areas trusts that the State will explicitly ask in the negotiations that have just been opened in the EU to introduce diversified economic and social development as a common transversal objective in the European Union budget for sparsely populated rural areas that suffer from serious and permanent demographic disadvantages.

To achieve this goal, the SSPA network has requested a meeting with the new President of the Government to demand that the Spanish Government be involved in this problem that affects the majority of Spanish rural territory. In addition to asking the new government to demand explicitly in the negotiations the fight against depopulation in policies, another factor to be debated will be the criterion of low population density. Factor to take into account when allocating additional funds to each country.

For this reason, the network will demand that the money, obtained through this criterion, be devoted entirely to combating depopulation and the negative effects of low population density in the territories of the interior of Spain where this situation occurs.

In the European proposal, there are reflected budgets for policies aimed at favoring the green economy and connectivity, the strengthening of local development agents and strategies or those policies that are committed to innovation, so these issues can represent a large opportunity for the southern sparsely populated provinces if both the State and the respective autonomous communities are involved, developing operational programs for the application of funds that give clear priority to achieving results in these depopulated areas, establishing each autonomous community strategies that follow the success stories of the Scottish case. The SSPA network will continue to fight, both at European and national level, to implement policies that help alleviate the demographic challenge of the Sparsely Populated Areas of Southern Europe, strengthening its support base to achieve greater public visibility.

– To end the depopulation of rural Spain, objective of the position document delivered by the SSPA to the government commissioner in the face of the Demographic Challenge

– To end the depopulation of rural Spain, objective of the position document delivered by the SSPA to the government commissioner in the face of the Demographic Challenge

Those responsible for the SSPA (Network of Sparsely Populated Areas of Southern Europe) have delivered to the Government Commissioner of the Demographic Challenge, Edelmira Barreira, a position paper that contains well-defined strategic lines whose application will allow the process of depopulation to be reversed. affects rural Spain.

The document, in which the SSPA has been working for more than a year, is based on the premise that low population density is the most evident symptom of the real problem suffered by an important part of our rural environment in the form of a prolonged structural crisis for decades, which threatens to render the territory unviable in social, economic and demographic terms. To reverse this situation and stop the imbalance between the rural and urban areas, the work advocates the reformulation of policies of territorial re-territorial cohesion, since they have proved ineffective for their purpose, redefining even the concept of depopulated or rural areas, introducing changes in the distribution of funds and creating a territorial development agency that manages and monitors all actions.

The SSPA is committed in this work to a model of rural development that covers all the sectors integrally and not with fragmented policies, for which it proposes and develops a series of strategic lines that cover the institutional and financing scope, the re-equilibrium, the cohesion territorial and taxation, economy, business and employment, infrastructure or education, identity and culture. This position paper states that not all measures require a budget, but also a willingness to cooperate between Public Administrations and social and economic actors to analyze the problem, propose solutions and carry them out, as the Scottish case shows, whose success story It has been presented by the SSPA throughout this last year.

In the meeting, which took place in Madrid, the commissioner of the Government against the Demographic Challenge, Edelmira Barreira, has highlighted the coincidence in the purpose of dealing with depopulation and has valued the involvement of the SSPA Network in this task. He also shared the importance of boosting economic activity as a factor against depopulation, as pointed out in the document of the SSPA, betting on administrative simplification or the proposal of additional incentives, such as the doubling of the flat rate of entrepreneurs in municipalities of scarce population, included already in the project of General Budgets of the State. Along with this, it has also agreed that, as the Network proposes, it is a priority objective to equalize opportunities, connectivity and Internet access, which is why the Government of Spain has prioritized the implementation of the “Plan 300 × 100”, for the connection with fiber optic networks of 300Mbits/s all the population centers of Spain.

In addition to reviewing the measures against depopulation that have been prioritized and implemented by the Government of Spain, the commissioner and representatives of SSPA have shared the need to continue working to transmit a positive image of the rural environment, capable of putting in value its advantages and virtues, and contribute to the fixation and attraction of population. The commissioner, in addition, thanked the work of the SSPA Network, which has been maintaining a constant dialogue, which both parties consider positive and fruitful.

The SSPA will present this position document officially in the next few days in the three autonomous communities that make up the Network of Sparsely Populated Areas of Southern Europe, Aragón, Castilla-La Mancha and Castilla y León.


The Network of Sparsely Populated Areas of Southern Europe (in English Southern Sparsely Populated Areas, SSPA) is an inclusive organization that aims to achieve legislative and political measures in Spain and Europe in the next programming period of 2020, aimed at reversing the process of depopulation and its consequences.

The SSPA unites the five southern European provinces recognized by the European Union for having a population density of less than 12.5 inhabitants / km2, which are found in Spain, Croatia and Greece. The network, founded in 2016, is formed by the business confederations of Cuenca, Soria and Teruel, the local action groups of the three Spanish provinces, the Lika-Senj County Development Agency (Croatia), their local action group and the Regional Government of Evritania (Greece).

– The SSPA network promotes a report on differentiated taxation for unpopulated territories

– The SSPA network promotes a report on differentiated taxation for unpopulated territories

The collaboration of the Local Action Groups Cuenca, Soria and Teruel with SSPA network (through the Challenge Project SSPA 2021) will reveal the possibilities of a favorable taxation.

Today, representatives of FOES, CEOE-CEPYME Cuenca and CEOE Teruel met in Soria with representatives of the Local Action Groups from the provinces of Soria, Cuenca and Teruel, together with professors from the University of Valladolid, as well as expert professionals in taxation and in rural areas.

The objective of this meeting has been to start working on the preparation of a report on a differentiated taxation that favors the progress of the depopulated territories.

The SSPA network wants to emphasize that the process of depopulation of their territories can be reversed with effective measures, among which it considers fundamental to propose a differentiated tax treatment, both for the companies that operate in the territory and for the people who live there and serve to achieve a development model that facilitates the attraction of investment, workers and professionals to these territories, which by their characteristics have it more complicated.

Through this study they will try to determine what concrete differential tax measures are possible for these areas, also analyzing the tax treatment that has been applied in other countries in the same context.