On January 15, 2020, Euromontana participated to a public consultation at the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) on demographic changes in the EU. The consultation, hosted by Mr János Ádám Karácsony, aimed at providing content for his upcoming opinion entitled “Demographic change: proposals on measuring and tackling its negative effects in the EU regions”.
Based on the evidence of the PADIMA project (Policies Against Depopulation In Mountain Areas) and on the recent findings of the ESPON ESCAPE project (European Shrinking Rural Areas Challenges, Actions and Perspectives for Territorial Governance), Euromontana had the opportunity to provide background information on the drivers of demographic changes in rural mountainous areas. Marie Clotteau – Director of Euromontana – expressed the need for a specific attention to be given to mountain areas, where cross-cutting issues such as mobility, services of general interest, employment and education opportunities affect mountains’ attractiveness.
Euromontana also reaffirmed the need for more synergies between funds to allow a real multi-funds approach but also for more social capital to be built up in rural mountainous areas to help these territories in really benefiting from already existing funds, such as the ERDF, EARDF and ESF, and tools, like CLLD and ITIs.
The CoR opinion on demographic changes is expected to be adopted during the March 2020 plenary session and will provide feedback from EU regions for the upcoming action plan for regions affected by demographic change, as specified in the mission letter of Dubravka Šuica, EU Commissioner for Democracy and Demography.
For more information on some of the strategies against depopulation in mountain areas mentioned during the consultation, please read:
- “How to address rural depopulation in mountain areas?”, from the May 2019 ENRD workshop on depopulation
- “How to foster development in mountainous depopulated areas?”, from the 2019 EU Regions Week
- The strategies to increase local attractiveness, from the PADIMA project
- The Desafio programme: a “rural Erasmus” to fight depopulation in rural and mountain areas, a recent Euromontana good practice from Spain