Participants are invited to discuss on how EU is seen and understood by rural citizens in positive and negative ways. Do we know enough about each other and if so, what are the ‘underlying’expectations and wishes from each other? Are there real answers? Are citizens just sleeping or waiting for things to come and EU promising? Do we in reality listen to each other and work together for a better rural citizen´s Europe? Through the discussions and/or participative activities, participants suggest different ways to connect rural citizen´s and EU in policy-making, 4th sector involvement and communication in true partnership.
Kim Smedslund, Master of company law and teacher of French and Swedish languages, started with local and regional rural development activities in 1997 as project responsible in a municipality and a business development center. He has published a book on EU institutions development from a politico-legal perspective in 1993. Since 2001, Kim Smedslund has been in different managing positions in a LEADER-group. International coordinating activities in the Finnish Village Movement from 2007 led to participation in European community/villages networks of rural development (ERCA/PREPARE) and finally to a joint coordination role in the European Rural Parliament (ERP) partnership/network in October 2016.