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Working in collaboration to develop welcoming policies in rural areas: conclusions of the Philoxenia Plus final conference

The final conference of Philoxenia Plus was a real success: more than 80 persons physically attended the conference and thanks to the webstreaming, around 150 persons in total followed it, showing the increasing interest of the new solutions around the demographic change and welcoming policies.

Welcoming policies should become a part of rural development strategies

Demographic change has been integrated as one of the priorities in several Operational Programmes for European Structural and Investment Funds in the EU regions, the concept of welcoming policies have also been integrated in some cases such as in Greece and Cyprus. Welcoming policies could sometimes be seen as unproductive and thus are not a priority issue in these times of economic crises. But, according to the assessment made in France by Ville Campagne welcoming policies can have a positive and direct impact on the territories. They have already measured that each new family implemented in the territory is directly or indirectly contributing to an average amount of 20.000€ to the territory. We thus encourage regional and local policy-makers to integrate sustainable welcoming policies as an integrated part of their rural development strategy.

A better cooperation between urban and rural areas

Too often, people believe that rural areas are not attractive, not productive or not interesting…, on the contrary, we have shown that many smart and creative solutions to critical problems that affect all Europe are coming directly from rural innovative areas. Instead of systematically opposing rural and urban areas, it would be better to work together, taking into account the specificities and complementarities of each area. The collaboration between urban and rural areas is urgent, such as the cooperation between costal and in-land areas. It is important to put together the different economic actors at European level and give to the stakeholders more weight in the decision making process to define the position of their territories.

To go further: participate to the European association in welcome policies

The European association in welcome policies was presented during the conference. This association aims to encourage networking based on the creation of several roadmaps to help territories and actors to create and improve their own welcome policies. No cost is requested by this association to benefit from their support. They help actors in two different ways:
– supporting actors and territories with programmes, projects and tools regarding welcoming policies. In that case, you are the animator of the group and the association helps you in the process of creating welcoming policies.
– sharing knowledge: you bring your own tools and you take part in the exchange of knowledge with others actors, who are also sharing their own tools and knowledge.

If you need more information do not hesitate to contactLaura Gascón Herrero, from the Province of Teruel, member of Euromontana, and from the Philoxenia Plus project lgasconherrero@dpteruel.es

Presentations done during the event are available on the web www.philoxeniaplus.eu

25 November 2014

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