Michael Dower

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Our wonderful friend, mentor and supporter, Michael Dower, sadly passed away on Monday November 7, 2022, just a week before his 89th birthday. In his lifetime, Michael was a force in European rural development. He was instrumental in developing the European Rural Parliament partnership and process, including co-ordinating and writing the foundational document ‘All Europe shall Live’, based on a survey of all of our European Partners, from which he developed the first ERP Manifesto at the 2nd ERP Gathering in Austria in 2015. These have remained our baseline documents.

In addition to the ERP, Michael’s work in rural development was extensive. He co-founded and served as coordinator of PREPARE - Pre-accession Partnership for Rural Europe, supporting the launch of many national and regional rural movements and rural parliaments in Central and Eastern Europe. He founded and served as President of ECOVAST – the European Council for the Village and Small Town. He co-founded and animated the European Agricultural Convention (EAC), now ARC2020. He was a very active member of Forum Synergies and many other European civic initiatives. He was co-creating the CURE - Convention for Urban and Rural Europe.

Prior to his post-retirement activism in European rural civil society, Michael managed the Peak District National Park in England; was Director General of the Countryside Commission for England and Wales; and was Professor of European Rural Development at the University of Gloucestershire. He edited and promoted the European Landscape Convention for the Council of Europe.

Michael was passionate about rural areas, their people, landscapes, land use and ecology. In the later years of his life, he worked tirelessly to advocate on the climate change emergency, and led local woodland management projects, working with school children, where he lived in Dorset, England.

Michael was, and is, an inspiration to us all. He urged us to be bold and brave and urgent in our work. His legacy lies within us and our continuing, collective work to support and develop rural Europe – our wonderful home.

Thank you Michael!

Around 250 participants from Slovenia and other European sverigepiller.com countries will gather on 8th and 9th October 2019 in the hilly region of Haloze. In the presence of distinguished guests and experts participants will discuss the current challenges in rural development and agriculture. Split into nine working groups, spread around picturesque landscapes of Haloze, they will search for optimal solutions in the new programming period between 2021 and 2027. Foreign guests are invited to participate on 8th October in the workshop “Local Economies”. Plenary sessions on 9th October will be simultaneously translated into English language. During the event, the ARGE prize for the best Slovenian village and NEWBIE prize for the innovative young farmer will be awarded.

Applications for participation should be sent before 20th September 2019. Please find more about the programme of the 5th Slovenian Rural Parliament and the link to the application form at www.drustvo-podezelje.si.