Venhorst Declaration Proposes New 10% Community Fund

A new European community-led local development fund, comprising 10% of four current EU funds, is one of the specific proposals to come out of the 3rd European Rural Parliament. The event, which took place from the 18th-21st October, saw 250 participants from 40 countries in attendance in the small rural town of Venhorst, North Brabant in the Netherlands.

A new European community-led local development fund, comprising 10% of four current EU funds, is one of the specific proposals to come out of the 3rd European Rural Parliament. The event, which took place from the 18th-21st October, saw 250 participants from 40 countries in attendance in the small rural town of Venhorst, North Brabant in the Netherlands.

This 10% would be drawn from current the rural, regional, social and maritime funds – the current EAFRD ERDF, ESF, and EMFF. This locally led community fund would be managed in a unified way at European and national levels. See diagram below.

In a prepared statement, the European Rural Parliament said “now that the European institutions are shaping the future of EU programmes and funds, the European Rural Parliament calls for a new unified basis for funding of local development.”

These combined funds would be “deployed on a decentralised basis through LEADER groups and other local partnerships” the statement

Read The Venhorst Declaration in Full

The event also focused in particular on youth supports, refugee and economic migrants integration, as well as poverty and social exclusion. Six themes were earmarked as being particular to rural communities. these were: creating future-proof communities; optimising community infrastructure and services; caring together and including others; developing the community’s economic base; making decisions together; and welcoming new people in the community.

Representatives of ERP partner organisations in 40 countries and 5 European networks gather to affirm their support for the ERP and share ideas on the way forward. (c) European Rural Parliament

The declaration noted that there was an “urgency” to the “current situation and the major challenges” for Europe. These were noted as including “the rapid spread of digitisation and automation, population movements from poor to rich regions and from rural areas to cities, the flow of refugees into Europe, continuing loss of biodiversity, climate change and its impact on many parts of Europe and the consequent stresses on the resources of the European Union and public authorities throughout the continent.” However, the declaration stated that “rural communities are able and willing to contribute to addressing these challenges.”

The European Rural Parliament is jointly initiated by:

The European Rural Community Alliance; PREPARE Partnership for Rural Europe ;European LEADER Association for Rural Development

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