Rural policies for villages, communities and people

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10 months 2 weeks ago #9 by kimsmedslund
There is not one policy for rural areas, there is not necessarily one European policy or national policy for rural areas because rural areas are different with different geography, different level of opportunities and possibilities due to surrounding natural resources, economy, land, education and/or technology. If there is genuine will to stay, work and build family, policies should accompany and give it a possibility. Therefore integrated place-based rural solutions and policies may be better than overall or sectoral policies. LEADER/CLLD is a good development tool and a method and can be considered as a place-based policy structure for rural areas - yes, if not under constant pressure, - yes if well implemented and not sectorised - yes if covering all of rural areas - yes if being also close to the rural citizen. "Smart villages" is somehow taking EU closer to the village, community in terminology and has a flavour of digitisation and technologisation. If a policy on smart villages was to be initiated, it should be different or complementary to LEADER/CLLD as two parallell policies would not be very practical. Will the potential complementary part result in a programme and/ or policy with complementary resources is open.

If there is genuine will for EU to get closer to its rural villages, communities and citizens/rural citizens, policies should be thought in a flexible and cooperative way. Pilots like wifi4U, opening ERASMUS exchange for ngo´s, including community friendly sections in programmes and policies would have a strong inclusive effect and a more positive image of EU seen with rural people´s eyes. We meet actually several challenges where the very local actors could be implementing EU-programmes alone or in cooperation with stronger actors by contributing eg. to the local quality of life, local economy or environment.

Please contribute by suggesting any policy or programming elements that you feel would contribute to rural development.

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