This week the MEPs that make up the Regional Development Commission within the European Parliament will discuss some of the most significant amendments for the most unpopulated areas of Europe, and will decide which will be incorporated into the document on future EU policy, which It will define the funds and concrete policies to combat depopulation.

It is a crucial moment for the unpopulated territories of Southern Europe as the European Parliament is in full debate to define and specify the next financial framework, which will define the funds and concrete policies to fight against depopulation

The SSPA network, formed by the provinces of Cuenca, Soria, Teruel, Lika-Senj and Euritania, as a European advocacy group has reviewed the amendments tabled and has contacted some of the MEPs who are defending amendments that support depopulated territories. Its objective is that in the new programming period of the European Funds they promote concrete policies and legislative measures specifically designed to reverse the serious demographic and socio-economic deterioration suffered by the less populated rural territories of Europe.

This European advocacy group has drafted a document on the amendments that are within its proposals and those that support with some revision, and is available on its website.

In a press conference, they highlighted some that they agree on such as the amendment n. 900 that proposes to force governments to fully address the demographic challenge with a global vision; amendment n. 1965 places the focus on the co-financing percentages by proposing that they be extended to the provinces (NUTS 3) with a population density of less than 12.5 inhabitants / km2; on amendment n. 2022 have highlighted that seeks to ensure an extra allocation in the distribution of funds per capita to provinces of less than 12.5 inhabitants per km2, a small amount in the EU budget.

Regarding the possibility of taking into account the depopulation by municipalities, something very important for Spain, the coordinator of the SSPA Sara Bianchi has declared “in June the European Commission told us that there is no official data at European level of the municipalities (LAU2), and this possibility opens a long debate and divides the efforts, while the provinces (NUT3) are recognized despite the fact that until now no concrete measures have been taken for them. ”

Bianchi stressed that “as important as obtaining specific funds is to be clear about how to invest them, it is necessary to have a clear strategy, involving all agents and having a medium and long-term vision”.

Santiago Aparicio, president of the Federation of Sorian Business Organizations (FOES) has stated that “the SSPA network is redoubling its efforts at the moment given that this is the starting point of the negotiations for the new programming period of the cohesion policy where, without a doubt, sparsely populated areas must be recognized. “