Introducing the official ERP programme

One week before the start of the European Rural Parliament 2019 (ERP) we present the final design of the program that makes it up, full of activities from Wednesday 6 to Saturday 9 November, thus making Candás (Asturias, Spain) the European Rural Capital of the year. Previously between Monday 4th and Wednesday 6th we will have celebrated the European Rural Youth Parliament (ERYP).

The ERP will meet in the capital of Carreño almost 400 people from 38 European countries of origin, while the ERYP will concentrate about 70 people from between 20 and 30 from 16 countries of the old continent.

Wednesday November 6

The event will open on Wednesday, November 6 with the start of cultural registrations and activities at the Old Ortiz Factory. By way of ‘Welcome to the culture of Asturias’ there will be performances where the traditional Asturian music will be given priority by the Bandina de la Banda Gaites de Candás, the Coro Nordeste and the performance of the Grupo de Danza Prima directed by Mª Esther Vega Menéndez will be completed, and which will dance this traditional dance as a way of welcoming the people attending the ERP. The day will be completed with the celebration of an amagüestu (one of the Asturian autumn celebrations) and a espicha (traditional Asturian food accompanied by cider).

Thursday 7 November

Thursday’s day, called ‘Visitors’ Day’, begins with the welcome by the Mayor of Carreño Amelia Fernández López and the President of the Asturian Network of Rural Development (READER) Belarmino Fernández Fervienza. Next, the assistants to the Parliament will participate in one of the seven field visits programmed by other so many zones of Asturias.

The day will be completed with the official dinner in which the general director of Rural Development, Innovation and Forestry Policy of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of the Government of Spain, Isabel Bombal Díaz, and the senior officer of Rural Affairs of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of the Government of Finland, Antonia Husberg, will take part.

Friday 8 November

Under the title of ‘Work and Networking’ the day of Friday 8 November will begin with the celebration of the first plenary session at the Prendes Theatre in Candás. It will have the participation of the different co-founding partners of the ERP, the European Rural Community Alliance (ERCA), the Association for Rural Europe (PREPARE) and the European LEADER Association for Rural Development (ELARD), represented in the figures of their presidents Staffan Nilsson, Āris Ādlers and María João Botelho.

The President of the Government of the Principality of Asturias, Adrián Barbón Rodríguez, will give the inaugural speech of the ERP. Afterwards, this fourth edition of the European Rural Parliament will be presented and the current context will be defined, with the interventions of Mihail Dumitru, Deputy Director General of the Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission, the presentation of Jaime Izquierdo Vallina, commissioner for the Demographic Challenge in Asturias, and Francesca Whitlock, co-president of the European Network of Community Initiatives on Climate Change and Sustainability (ECOLISE).

The programme includes the exhibition of ‘Inspiring and local examples of rural development’ from different European countries. This is how ‘Eigg – The Journey to an Island Renaissance’ by Camille Dressler from the European Federation of Small Islands (ESIN), ‘With a handshake’ by Gent Imeraj from the Albanian Alps Alliance, ‘Intentional communities as a path to sustainability, social connectivity and regeneration of rural areas’ by Cora Pausch, from Ecovillage Los Portales, ‘Collaborative cleaning days in Latvia’s rivers’ by Santa Smite, from the NGO Boat of Selonia, and ‘Socio-environmental development: Agroecology and social inclusion’, by Antonio García Méndez and Pablo García Lastra, from the EDES Foundation.

This will be followed by one of the central parts of the ERP, the twenty-one workshops, most of which will take place in a double session in the morning and afternoon at the Centro Polivalente de La Baragaña. Following the workshops, the Market of Initiatives has been organised, directed by Marina Guédon, coordinator of Forum Synergies.

The Minister of Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Welfare, María Luisa Carcedo Roces, will visit the facilities of the Antigua Fábrica Ortiz, the nerve centre of the ERP, and will hold a meeting with the participants on Friday afternoon.

To round off this day there will be an international networking dinner with a tasting of products from the different participating countries and a talk by Gérard Peltre, president of the Development of the Environment (RED) on the French Rural Agenda.

Saturday 9 November

The Parliament will conclude on Saturday 9 with the second plenary session in the Prendes Theatre, focusing on the future of European rural policy, with the participation of the Secretary of State for the Environment of the Ministry of Ecological Transition of the Government of Spain, Hugo Morán. This will be followed by the round table ‘The future of European Rural Policy’, moderated by Hannes Lorenzen, President of the Agriculture and Rural Convention 2020 (ARC2020), in which will take part the MEP and member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee Jonás Fernández, EU DG Agriculture and Rural Development Policy Officer Beata Adamczyk, vice-president of the Occitania Regional Council (Committee of the Regions) Guillaume Cros and EESC member John Bryan.

The High Commissioner for Agenda 2030 in Spain, Cristina Gallach, will give the conference on Sustainable Development Objectives in rural areas to close with the third plenary session, where the messages drawn up in this fourth edition of the ERP will be collected and the Candás Declaration will be signed. This document will be presented next year to the European Parliament in Brussels in order to raise awareness of the implementation of policies aimed at the rural environment.

The Minister of Rural Development, Agriculture and Fisheries of the Principality of Asturias Alejandro Calvo will close this international meeting that has the support of the Asturian and Spanish governments, with the collaboration of the Ministries of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Ecological Transition.

The development of the ERP contemplates English as the official language, having only been translated in plenary sessions, and has the collaboration of Carreño City Council, responsible for organizing the cultural program and musical performances with the Municipal School of Music ‘Miguel Barrosa’, at the same time that has provided volunteers to help in organizing this meeting, among other aspects.

Download the ERP Programme