What needs to be done to make living and working in rural areas attractive for people? This key issue for rural development has been addressed in the Cork declarations.
In 1996, policy makers and other groups involved in rural development met in Cork, Ireland, to discuss how to better meet the challenges of a changing world. With the aim of ensuring a better quality of life in rural areas, they agreed on the Cork declaration.
20 years on, in 2016, the next generation of policy makers and representatives met again in Cork to shape the future of life in rural areas. Their discussions and suggestions form the basis of the Cork 2.0 declaration.
Making use of the potential of rural areas
The Cork 2.0 declaration expresses key concerns of rural communities and possible policy responses. Among the ten points in the declaration are, for example, how to promote rural prosperity, preserve the rural environment and boost knowledge and innovation to ensure that rural businesses have access to appropriate technology including state-of-the-art connectivity.
The European Rural Networks Assembly is already discussing how its members can start taking further steps to implement the declaration on the ground.
Shaping the future means adapting policies today
With more than half the population living in rural areas, covering more than three quarters of the EU's territory, adapting rural development measures to a changing world is crucial for Europe's economic, social and sustainable development. This is why the Cork 2.0 declaration will feed into the discussions on the future of the common agricultural policy.
>> Implement the Cork Declaration: Solutions for and from mountain areas (Euromontana association)