The EESC own-initiative opinion NAT/820 ‘Towards a holistic strategy on sustainable rural/urban development’ was adopted by the European Economic and Social Committee on 21 October and is now available here in different languages.
European Rural Parliament partners, also ELARD, participated in the public hearing held on 18 June and contributed to this opinion.
In order to level the playing field between rural communities and the urban environment, the EESC makes the following recommendations:
- rural policies need to be adequately resourced, and technological communication, transport infrastructure, and quality and efficient education and healthcare delivery systems must be provided. These should be fully aligned with the relevant urban services (“equal health”);
- the supply of jobs, training and housing should reflect and harness rural natural resources, while also creating innovative business opportunities;
- rural parliaments and Community-led Local Development (CLLD), as models of participatory democracy, should be supported by political leaders and should involve all rural citizens, including the social partners, women, older people, people with disabilities, minorities and, especially, young people;
- cultural heritage assets should be protected and promoted.