ACRE to lead a project for the European Rural Parliament
by Deborah Clarke, Village Halls/ Rural Evidence Manager

One year on from sending a delegation to the 2nd European Rural Parliament, held in Schärding, Austria in 2015, ACRE is set to lead one of six projects that will gather evidence from a number of Countries across Europe.

The project, Sustaining rural services and infrastructure, aims to identify key issues in the delivery of rural services and infrastructure across Europe. It will highlight how rural services can be sustained by communal action and how local people can get involved in shaping policy and taking action. The information collected, including a set of case studies, will feed into a Report to be presented at the 3rd European Rural Parliament in the Netherlands in October 2017.

A different Country is leading each of the six projects which are:

  • Provision for young people in rural areas, and preparing for a European Rural Youth Parliament
  • Welcoming refugees and economic migrants in rural areas
  • Tackling poverty and social exclusion in rural areas
  • Sustaining rural services and infrastructure
  • Strengthening local and sub regional economies
  • Integrated rural development, and promotion of LEADER and Community-Led Local Development

The idea of National Rural Parliaments started in Sweden in the 1990s and the European Rural Parliament was launched in 2013. The national rural parliament campaign or movement is growing with the Scottish Rural Parliament holding its 2nd gathering in October 2016 and Slovakia in November 2016. More rural parliaments are being planned in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Slovenia in the lead up to the October 2017 European Rural Parliament.

The European Rural Parliament is jointly co-ordinated by three European rural networks, the Europe Rural Community Alliance (ERCA), Prepare Partnership for Rural Europe and European LEADER Association for Rural Development. ACRE is a full member of ERCA. For more information about the work of the European Rural Parliament or to find out how you can input to any of the projects contact Deborah Clarke, d.clarke@acre.org.uk at ACRE.