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Forum Synergie

Linking sustainable practices throughout Europe

Interactive video Conference, 7.7.2020

STEP 1: interactive video conference initiated by the Renew Europe group in the European Parliament, on 7 July 2020

Livestream link is here: https://re.livecasts.eu/a-vision-for-rural-europe
(in order to hear a specific contribution just click on the speaker you want to listen to as indicated in the programme on the right side bar of the livestream)

This high-level interactive video conference initiated by the Renew Europe group in the European Parliament, on 7 July, 14.30 – 17.00 CEST, tackled the role that rural areas can play in this process.

The event was organised by the President of the Renew Europe Group, Dacian Ciolos. He invited participants for an open reflection, analysis and public mobilisation, with a high level panel including the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Investment Bank, Werner Hoyer, Brexit Chief negotiator and former European Commissioner for regional policy Michel Barnier, and the President of the S&D group in the European Parliament, Iraxte Garcia Perez.

In the 2nd panel the floor/ screen was especially be given to rural initiatives and networks and civil society organisations, the session was moderated by Hannes Lorenzen, President of the Agricultural and Rural Convention (ARC2020) and Co-President of Forum Synergies:

  • Ilaria Signoriello (IT) is member of “Agricoltura Capodarco” social farm and Co-President of the Social Farming National Forum, a network born in 2011 to represent and promote social farming as a generative approach that, through the production of food and the practice of a welfare aims towards the rehabilitation and regeneration of local communities. Since 2017 she is a member of the National Observatory for Social farming, established by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture.
  • Katrina Idu (LV), is geographer, project manager at Latvian Rural Forum, member of the team of European Rural Youth Parliament, experienced in non-formal education, works with community-led local development strategies, rural community-building activities focusing on youth involvement, intergenerational cooperation and transmission of knowledge for sustainable rural areas.
  • Emilija Stojmenova Duh, Ph.D., (SLO) an assistant professor at the University of Ljubljana and Head of Public, Private, People Partnership Digital Innovation Hub – 4PDIH. She is Member of the Management Board of the Slovenian Research Agency and Member of the Council for Development in Agriculture, Forestry and Food at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food.
  • Petar Gjorgievski (NMK), president of the Rural Development Network of North Macedonia and Balkan Rural Development Network.
  • Francesca Whitlock (GB) is co-President of ECOLISE, the European network for community-led initiatives on climate change and sustainability, and communications manager for GEN Europe, the European ecovillage network. A new entrant to organic farming in Catalunya, Spain, she has spent the last five years working with rural community initiatives.

The issue is highly topical - it is not only about defining political reform processes for a new period, but also about putting the transition towards a sustainable Europe on track. The need and increasing pressure to long for fundamental changes in order to face the manifold crisis (climate change, biodiversity loss, unsustainable agricultural practices) bring Europe to a crossroads.

Building on our long experience of investigating successful and innovative rural initiatives we are convinced that rural areas have to offer already now ground-breaking contributions to this process. There is a lot of energy especially in the young generation and the readiness to take action to bring forward this process and to build a long term vision for rural Europe. Representatives of various organisations and networks will be invited – among them Forum Synergies - to contribute to this interactive video conference. “Making the rural voice heard” in this high-level political arena will be a great moment of stakeholder involvement