A year ago, the Asturian Network for Rural Development (READER) was in the midst of the maelstrom of closing the 2nd European Rural Youth Parliament and inaugurating the 4th European Rural Parliament. It was a great experience, both vital and professional, for those of us who took part in it.
Candás, the capital of the council of Carreño, in Asturias, hosted both events between 4 and 9 November. Nearly 500 people from 41 nations, plus 66 young people from 15 countries, met in the Asturian town to discuss the demands, projects and future of a rural environment that is home to a third of Europe’s population.
After all the work carried out over two years, the Candás Declaration was signed, a document of conclusions which was presented to the EU’s highest authorities in Brussels last January but which has also been discussed by the governments of the participating countries.
During these days, projects developed in the rural areas of Asturias were presented, many of them promoted with LEADER aid, centres of interest in the region were visited and experiences were taken in the backpack which we hope will lead to new projects in the different European regions. All this could be seen during the day of the Field Visits, with seven different itineraries covering various regions of the region, from the East to the West, from the coast to the interior.
The Workshops were another enriching experience left to us by the Parliament in an interesting exchange of initiatives presented by the participants. A total of 21 seminars dealt with topics of the utmost importance for rural development.
To round off the two days of Friday and Saturday in which the Plenary Sessions were held (which you can visit on our Youtube channel) with a full programme of presentations in which representatives of the Asturian and national government, but also the EU, took part. Civil society also had its space, presenting projects that are being developed in different places in Europe that are as interesting as they are varied.
Thanks to the opportunity to the three major pan-European associations that bring together the different networks and organizations working for rural development and leading the PRS: the European Rural Community Alliance (ERCA), the Association for Rural Europe (PREPARE) and the European LEADER Association for Rural Development (ELARD).
The voice of rural youth
If the ERP took place between 6 and 9 November, between 4 and 6 it was a representation of European youth that settled in Candás to design their own future in the European rural environment. A total of 66 participants from 15 countries, of whom a delegation of 17 also took part in the subsequent meeting, drew up their own Candás Declaration, which was included in the subsequent document presented in Brussels.
In addition to discussing and working cooperatively, they were able to learn about some of the experiences of entrepreneurship taking place in the Carreño council itself, which hosts both parliaments.
We hope that these meetings have resulted in new projects and initiatives that are as enriching as they are motivating.
For more information:
You can see the plenaries again in the playlists of our Youtube channel: