On the 6 July 2017, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted an own-initiative opinion “From Cork 2.0 Declaration to concrete actions”, led by rapporteur Sofia Björnsson of the NAT (Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment) section. The Cork 2.0 Declaration “A better life in rural areas” was adopted on the 6th September 2016 and introduced the notions of climate change and digitalization in rural development compared to the first Cork Declaration (1996) which had set the foundations of European rural development policy.
Overall, the EESC strongly supports the Cork 2.0 Declaration and the rural proofing mechanism. The EESC believes a more coherent policy for rural and regional development is needed, as is a more targeted funding and a robust budget for the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds to implement the Declaration and the policy objectives. The opinion also emphasises the need to simplify the regulatory framework for the ESI funds, both at EU level and in national and regional implementation of the policy, and notably to use Community-Led Local Development more efficiently.
This article aims at putting in perspective a few points made by the EESC in this opinion. You can read the article here (only for members).7 September 2017