The production of a White Paper on rurality by the European Commission is nowadays a strategic step and a urgent need for the success of the broader European project and the future well-being of the rural inhabitants!
Current development policies generate significant imbalances between cities and countryside. The gap is growing and leads away from the territorial cohesion required by the Maastricht Treaty.
The inequality of residents and local stakeholders in terms of access to public services is growing. The falling levels of health, transport and safety services in rural territories gives inhabitants cause for concern and frequently results in a feeling of abandonment.
The same applies with the quality of the basic infrastructure necessary for development, such as high-speed broadband or mobile telephony. That imbalance is especially damaging for rural territories as Europe has turned more and more to developing a digital society in which the ability to communicate is essential to produce, to sell or to consume.
The contributions that rural territories, with their diversity, can make to the inclusive, sustainable and smart growth aimed at by the Europe 2020 Strategy are under-recognised and under-exploited. The current European policies fail to develop all the rural potential: the situation calls for a major evolution!
The European Countryside Movement has launched a call to the European Commission for the producing of a White Paper on rurality in the prospects of the programming period post 2020.
We invite you to sign the on-line petition to request this White Paper on Rurality.8 February 2016