Work is well underway in preparing for this important 3 day event, to take place in Venhorst, a rural community of 1700 people in the municipality of Boekel in Noord-Brabant, Netherlands, close to the borders of Germany and Belgium.

‘It’s fantastic that 350 people from all over Europe will share their knowledge here. Everyone will come with the intention to bring something. Bringing something means getting something. The power will be enormous if we share that in our own communities!’ Pierre Bos, Mayor of Boekel.


The 3rd ERP will be hosted by Landelijke Vereniging voor Kleine Kernen LVKK (the Dutch National Association of Small Towns) and its provincial partner Vereniging Kleine Kernen Noord-Brabant VKKNB (North Brabant Association of Small Towns), with support of the municipality of Boekel, Gemert-Bakel, the province of Noord-Brabant and the ministry of the Interior. It will also be supported by many provincial and local organisations and by student volunteers. 100 local families have already offered to accommodate the delegates in their homes.

The participants will take part in a program full of workshops, debates and excursions during the three-day event. North Brabant has recently been identified as one of the ‘smart’ regions of the world. It is a remarkable example of high tech development in agriculture and rural industry.

We make a connection between the city and the state, between growth and shrinkage, between city and country, between formal and informal economy, between local and global, between native and foreign, between educated and uneducated. Making those connections is in service of a common future, a future where economy, ecology and the social quality of our society will develop balanced.’ Commissioner of the King, Wim van de Donk, about the position and function of the province of Noord-Brabant.