European Rural Manifesto published

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Norette Ferns

An ambitious European Rural Manifesto has been approved at the second European Rural Parliament, advocating action on 30 key issues.

Around 240 people from 40 European countries took part in the European Rural Parliament held at Schärding, Austria from 4 to 6 November. Participants approved the European Rural Manifesto which calls for full recognition of the right of rural communities to a quality of life and standard of living equal to that of urban populations, and to full participation in political processes.

Participants called for a refreshed and equitable partnership between people and governments. They recognised that rural people have a responsibility to act towards their own well-being, but demanded that governments at all levels, including the European institutions, work to make this crucial partnership effective.

The European Rural Parliament called on the European Union to mount a major review of the condition of rural areas within the EU. The European Rural Parliament campaign will continue over the next two years with a view to influencing the preparation of policies for the period beyond 2020.

The participants in the European Rural Parliament were acutely conscious that the town of Schärding, in which the gathering was held, is receiving 2000 refugees a day on their way across the border between Austria and Germany. For many rural areas this offers an opportunity to integrate refugees and other newcomers, given the necessary job creation, investment in housing, services and infrastructure. The European Rural Parliament called for a warm-hearted response, based on solidarity between peoples.

The Swedish and Finnish National Rural Networks recently produced a video in which they talk about how previous and existing LEADER projects involve and support migrants and refugees in the two countries, and reflect on how LEADER could be part of the solution in the current situation in Europe. You can watch the video on YouTube.

The European Rural Parliament organisers will continue to enable the actions called for within the manifesto, in cooperation with national and European partners, governments and institutions.

Visit the European Rural Parliament website to download the European Rural Manifesto.

More from the European Rural Parliament

Visit the European Rural Parliament website for documents, blogs and further information. You can also use the hashtag #EuRuralParl or take a look at the European Rural Parliament Facebook page.

You can still watch the recorded live streams of the plenary-sessions via YouTube.