The acting Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, defended the need to ensure the sustainability and profitability of farms and activities carried out in rural areas, and to design transversal policies that take into account the particularities in these territories for the sustainable and dynamic future of the European rural environment. “There is a future in the rural world if there is sustainable and profitable economic activity,” he emphasized.
Luis Planas inaugurated today in Sigüenza (Guadalajara) the High Level Forum on Rural Policy, together with the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Janusz Wojciechowski, and the Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, held in Sigüenza (Guadalajara) until tomorrow, September 29, within the framework of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
According to the minister, the challenges and opportunities faced by rural areas cannot be addressed from a single policy or instrument, but the existing support, financing and investment mechanisms must be strengthened, and linked to those management system that can provide sufficient impact.
In his speech, he emphasized the importance of “maintaining synergy between European funds so that their results meet the objectives of the European Union agreements regarding the support of rural areas.”
The conclusions of the study sponsored by the European Commission on “Balance of the contribution of the strategic plans of the CAP to the objectives of the long-term vision of the rural areas of the EU” were also presented at the forum. which shows that the new CAP contributes to the promotion and comprehensive development of the countryside.
This study analyzes the contribution of the CAP to the four action blocks of the rural vision: reinforced, connected, resilient and prosperous rural areas.
To address these four blocks, the study suggests promoting innovation and digitalization in agri-food production, improving transport and rail connections, as well as mitigating the risks caused by the change in climate and natural disasters.
LONG TERM VISION FOR URBAN AREAS
Luis Planas highlighted some of the challenges that must be faced to ensure the integrity of the future of rural areas, including digitalization, gender equality, generational change or innovation and entrepreneurship.
In particular, he emphasized the need for young people to have professional opportunities to ensure that the rural population is built. He also emphasized the active role of women, which in his opinion is fundamental from the point of view of entrepreneurship.
As he stated, these goals “can only become true if we are able to achieve and provide a decent future for our citizens, which means sustainability, but also the profitability of farms and activities that happened” around the countryside.
To this end, he emphasized the support of the Spanish Government in the development and implementation of the objectives set by the European Rural Pact, which promotes cooperation between the authorities and parties involved at the European, national, local and regional.
In the case of Spain, through the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, as well as the new CAP and the cohesion funds of the 2021-2027 operational programs, financing is allocated to improve the socioeconomic fabric of rural areas and solve to the problem. in the depopulation of these areas.
The results and recommendations of this high-level forum will contribute to the development of the document of political conclusions in which the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU is working, which it hopes will be ready next November. Its goal is to establish strategic guidelines for the future of rural areas.
Likewise, this debate and these political conclusions will feed into the next report of the European Commission on the level of development of the long-term vision for rural areas, which will be presented in the first quarter of 2024.
The acting minister emphasized that there are some strong conclusions to design a realistic and possible plan that strengthens the life and development of rural areas while continuing to support the agricultural sector of the community.
The European Commission and the Member States are clear that securing the future of the rural environment and the agri-food sector is the key for the economy of the community, but also for guaranteeing social welfare.
In this high-level forum in Sigüenza, field visits are also planned to verify, through practical experiences, how to strengthen the environment for the implementation of rural development projects in the province of Guadalajara.