Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Cohesion policy

Rural development - 16.07.2010

CEMR calls for strengthening of rural development policy
Rural development policy currently focuses too much on agriculture and thus needs to be broadened and strengthened. This policy shift would 'offer all sectors and actors the opportunity to develop and diversify economic activities in rural areas".

This is the main message of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)'s position on the future of EU rural development policy, published on the eve of the European Commission's CAP post-2013 Conference to take place in Brussels on 19 and 20 July, 2010.

'Rural development policy has to encompass the economic, social and sustainable development of rural areas", as underlined by the coordinator of the CEMR Focus Group on Rural Development, Carsten Hansen. 'Combating rural poverty and social inclusion as well as improving accessibility to infrastructures, such as broadband internet, and services should be among the main objectives to be included in the future rural development policy."

So as to achieve the aforementioned objectives and ensure the success of rural development, local and regional authorities must be prominently involved in the shaping, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the policy. CEMR defends the idea that decentralised levels of government should be the ones to determine local spending priorities in order to increase cost effectiveness, reduce bureaucracy and reinforce the democratic legitimacy.

The rural development policy must be horizontal, thus covering a number of sectoral policies all the while developing vertical cooperation between local, regional, national and European levels of government.

CEMR is a member of the European Commission's DG AGRI advisory group on rural development and responded to the public consultation on the future of the CAP.
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