Working Group “Active citizens in the rural areas”
Next (and final) meeting: 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:
- Europahaus Marienberg
- Europahuset Gävleborg
- Learn for Life
- Maison de l’Europe des Yvelines
- The House of Europe in Rhodes
- Polska Fundacja im. Roberta Schumana
“How to make villages worth living and (sometimes) working in”
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.
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
- 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
The group is chaired by Henk Hijink and Jantsje van der Spoel from Learn for Life