Date / Heure
Date(s) - 17-18 Mar 2000
0 h 00 min
Mountain regions as pioneers of sustainable development. Quality: The comparative advantage of the future
The forthcoming WTO negotiations and the recent reform of the CAP converge around the increased competition of the European and global economies. The new common agricultural policy and rural policy put in place with effect from the year 2000 will be based on:
- A fall in European agricultural prices in order to respond to the requirements of the forthcoming WTO negotiations, and to develop the competitiveness of European agriculture.
- A reinforcement of the rural development policy with a large measure of subsidiarity, the intention to promote quality products and sustainable agricultural systems.
- Specific arrangements for the adaptation and the development of the CEEC in anticipation of their integration into the European Union.
These changes constitute new issues for the rural and agricultural development of the mountain regions.
Euromontana wishes to inform and alert the mountain development actors and their political decision makers to the need to prepare development strategies which respond to these new economic and political requirements which add value to the assets of these regions. Quality is one of these strategies which we will have to go further into in the course of the project.
Quality and mountain regions are the central topics of Euromontana’s new project. Between September and December 1999, three thematic seminars will go further into these subjects. On the basis of the results of these seminars, the second European Mountain Convention will be organised on the 17 and 18 March 2000 in Trento (Italy).
The mountain regions in Europe are known for the quality of their landscape, environment and products. These regions are also the place where 50 million people live and work, contributing to the development of these areas. However, the relief, isolation, climate and other factors are all permanent handicaps that stand in the way of the development of economic activities.
The recent reform of Community policies (http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/agenda2000/index_en.htm) and the preparation of the European Union’s enlargement are bringing European countries new measures for rural development but also new challenges for the most fragile regions. Thus, to cope with the increased competition between the European and world economies, these regions have to find original ways to develop, taking advantage of their specific assets.
Quality production and regions, together with the traditional nature of the activities and the diversity of the environments, are an essential asset of mountain regions. Furthermore, the public’s growing awareness of environmental problems and of the conditions in which food is produced is resulting in new consumption patterns. People’s concerns are focusing on the quality of the products.
EUROMONTANA wishes to invite the European mountain representatives to investigate together the best development strategies for quality to respond to the needs of their regions and the demands of the consumers.
To prepare this assembly EUROMONTANA has organised during the Autumn of 1999 a series of three thematic seminars each addressing an audience of experts from Western, Central and Eastern Europe. The outcomes of these works will provide detailed analysis studied at the European level for the delegates to consult together.
First seminar: Development and distribution of the mountain quality products, Saint- Etienne, 3-4 September 1999
Second seminar: Quality at the service of sustainable development, Vitoria-Gasteiz, 29-30 October 1999
Third seminar: Quality and rural development in the mountain regions of CEEC, Krakow 17-18 December 1999
Rhône-Alpes Regional Council (Fr), the Direction for development and cooperation of the Swiss Confederation (CH), the Basque Government through the Kalitatea Foundation (Sp), the Council of the Departement of Loire (Fr), the National Association for Agricultural Development (Fr) have also participated to the financing of the preparatory seminars.
The convention has been organised with the collaboration of: Regione Trentino-Alto Adige; Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori, Unione Contadini, Associazione Contadini Trentini, Unione Agricoltori, Federazione Coltivatori Trentini, Federazione Trentina delle Cooperative.
It is with the support of the Autonomous Province of Trento, the European Commission – Directorate General for Agriculture – and the French Ministry for Agriculture that EUROMONTANA invites you to participate in this Second European Mountain Convention.