Active citizens in the rural areas

Working Group “Active citizens in the rural areas”

The Working Group has terminated its work within our network and continues as a ERASMUS+ strategic partnership called “READ IT”

READ ITFollow the development of READ IT:


WG rural areas Budapest

Last meeting of the WG rural areas within EUNET on October 20th 2017 in Budapest

Rural European Association Development Innovation Team. READ IT – Active citizens in rural areas

The working group successfully applied for an ERASMUS+ strategic partnership for the project “Rural European Association Development Innovation Team. READ IT – Active citizens in rural areas
The project will run over a two years period from September 2017 to August 2019.

The project aims to help people in rural areas in the participating countries to work for development of rural areas as they are badly affected of the urbanisation. As many people are leaving those areas the ones who stay gets less and less included in the overall growth in society.
Young people leave those areas and most of the inhabitants are middle aged and older people. This development leads to a “bad circle” as the social inclusion between young and old decline all the time.

There is also a lack of social inclusion in terms of less public service, closing of schools and shops etc. With the project we like to enhance people in the rural areas to help themselves to get a better local development, to take initiative to entrepreneurship, local cultural activities and so on to get people to stay in the area instead of moving to big cities.

The inhabitants in the rural areas need even more creativity and civic engagement to keep them socially included and the project will aim to give them new tools for that.

Project partners are:


“How to make villages worth living and (sometimes) working in”

Working Group active citizens in rural areas February 2017

The last decades many changes took place in rural areas and villages. Changes in the agricultural sector, closing of shops and schools, young people leaving the areas, etc. Not so long ago, people used to live and work in the same area, which leaded to natural commitment with their own village. Nowadays this has changed a lot and it means that newcomers do not always participate in village life. These developments are very similar in European countries. The challenge is to strengthen the vitality of the small villages and to empower the citizens of the villages. Therefore it is important to exchange experiences, discuss methods to stimulate citizens to be active in their own village, cooperation between generations, etc. These activities should contribute to a sustainable rural development.

WG rural areas February 2016_250px

Working Group active citizens in rural areas February 2016

During the first meeting in Salzburg, we discussed about the different aspects of this subject. It was agreed that during the next meeting we should try to choose among the many aspects of this subject as it will not be possible to cover all of them.

Some subjects that could be important to discuss:

  • The role of active citizens and volunteers in the rural areas
  • Different profiles and age groups in the rural areas
  • Competences on how to stimulate active citizenship
  • Successful strategies , based on best practices in the different countries

Road map rural areas_250pxThere are several possibilities to deal with these points. Therefore, it is important to discuss what our ambition is, what we want to reach.


  • Share experiences
  • Development of a brochure and website about best practices
  • Preparing a Erasmus+ K1 project
  • Preparing Erasmus + K2 project
  • Preparing citizens project
  • Development of new training and teaching models for active citizens in the rural areas
  • Other…………

The group is chaired by Henk Hijink and Jantsje van der Spoel from Learn for Life

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