During the EWRC2019, LEADER France held the workshop-debate “Rural development at the heart of EU territorial cohesion” on October 10 in the presence of Irene Tolleret, Member of European Parliament, Kristiina Tammets, Vice-President of ELARD, François Galabrun, Director of LAG Est-Audois and Administrator at Leader France, and Michael Schmitz, Advisor at Deutscher Landkreistag.
Two main priorities were focused regarding the role of rural development in European policies:
- The need of european rural development policy integrated in the cohesion policy.
- The need to pursue and to support the LEADER approach.
This workshop highlighted the importance of taking rural areas into account in cohesion policy as a major factor in Europe’s energy, ecological and economic transition. It also stressed that European rural areas, despite their structural, sociological, demographic and economic differences, have a future if they open up to Europe and speak in a single voice. The exchanges empasized the need for rural communities to be supported and represented by both national and European members of parliament willing to stand up for rural areas and their promotion rather than considering it a colleteral issue of agricultural policy.