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From Cork 2.0 to concrete actions for a better life in rural areas

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) section for Agriculture, Rural Development and the Environment (NAT) is working on a new own-initiative opinion entitled “From Cork 2.0 Declaration to concrete actions”, led by rapporteur Sofia Björnsson.

EESC public hearing

The EESC held a public hearing on 3 May 2017 where both the European Commission (represented by DG AGRI and DG REGIO) and practitioners could put forward ideas to implement the Cork 2.0 Declaration. Indeed, the implementation of the Declaration should be done jointly by policy-makers and practitioners for an adequate local development and proper recognition of the role of rural areas, which is reflected in the action plan DG AGRI has published, which you can find here.

The public hearing was organised to provide inputs for this opinion. Euromontana attended to present concrete ways of implementing the Cork 2.0 Declaration in mountain areas, which you can also find in the briefing published in January 2017 “Implement the Cork Declaration: Solutions for and from mountain areas”, available here. Euromontana isn’t the only representative of civil society to put forward concrete ways of implementing the Cork 2.0 Declaration, Copa-Cogeca has also published a briefing this month (see press release here).

Contents of the opinion

More generally, the opinion will not follow the layout of the Cork 2.0 Declaration entirely and will not focus on Pillar II of the CAP solely but will elaborate on the following topics: Community-Led Local Development and the LEADER programme, rural proofing, climate change, circular economy, the Sustainable Development Goals, public goods, digitization and access to broadband, jobs and services, simplification, and rural vs. agricultural development among others.

The upcoming DG AGRI conference on the preliminary results of the CAP consultation (7 July 2017) and the public consultation on the Cohesion Policy which will start next autumn are awaited by practitioners to feed discussions on simplified and more result-based policies. An important part of the public hearing was dedicated to rural proofing and how to implement it in the European Union, how to fund it, which frameworks for assessment and evaluation to use, etc. More to come on that subject in one of our next articles!

Next steps

The adoption is foreseen for the NAT section meeting of 15 June 2017 and in the Plenary session of 5-6 July 2017. The draft will soon be available here.

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9 June 2017

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