The ERP presents a commemorative fence with Candás volunteering

The Asturian Network for Rural Development (READER) and the Mayor of Carreño, Amelia Fernández, have had a meeting this morning with the young volunteers who will support the European Rural Parliament (ERP) and the European Rural Youth Parliament (ERYP). This is a group of twelve young people with a good level of English who will collaborate during the intense week of work involved in holding both meetings.

In the meeting also took part different representatives of the associative movement of the municipality who will participate actively in the cultural program prepared to publicize much of Asturian culture. 

After the meeting, a family photo was taken in front of the commemorative fence with the slogan ‘Candás, 2019 rural capital of Europe’, placed at the entrance to the village, in front of the train station. It is not in vain that Candás will welcome between the 4th and 9th of November more than 400 people from some forty countries all over Europe, if we add the celebration of the two Parliaments.

At the meeting were present, along with Belarmino Fernandez Fervienza and Luis Miguel Rebustiello, president and manager of READER, several political representatives, such as Amelia Fernández, mayoress of Carreño, host municipality, Enrique Nuño, representative of the Delegation of the Government of Spain, and Fernando Prendes, general director of Planning, Agricultural Infrastructure and Forestry on behalf of the Counseling of Rural Development of the Principality of Asturias.

Representatives of entities collaborating with ERP and ERYP also took part, such as Amador Robles, from RENFE, and Joaquín Moya, Tragsa delegate in Asturias, together with Caja Rural de Asturias.

The high participation and involvement of the different associative movements existing in the municipality, such as the women’s associations Nosotr@s and Las Ayalgas, the Union of Merchants of Gijón and Carreño, the Association of Homemade Cider and the Bagpipes Band of Candás. All of them, together with the Municipal Music School and the Asturian song of Canto la Vara and the Nordeste Choir will brighten up the cultural programme, which also includes the ‘danza prima’ (a tradicional dance) and a bread-making workshop.

Among the novelties presented to the two Parliaments, the Union of Merchants of Gijón and Carreño will publish 600 guides with information of interest on gastronomy and shopping, will make available to the participants a shopping assistant and will place 150 sardine-shaped stickers indicating the routes to the three venues where the meetings will take place: Prendes Theatre, Ortiz Old Factory and Multipurpose Centre La Baragaña.

The president of READER Belarmino Fernández Fervienza trusts that this will be “the best Parliament, that Candás will be the European rural capital with all reason, and this involves all of us, the sum of civil society and administrations”.

For his part, the manager of READER, Luis Miguel Rebustiello, indicated that to date there are 66 people from 15 countries registered in the ERYP and more than 320 from 38 countries in the ERP. “We are talking about more than 400 people who will meet in the capital of Carreño,” he said. A complete programme has been designed for them, with six itineraries through the different territories of Asturias, plus a seventh visit to the surroundings of Candás. All of them will show different initiatives that respond to the challenges of current rural development.

The central event of the ERP is the celebration of 21 workshops in which problems, initiatives and solutions that are being carried out in Europe to respond to the needs of the rural milieu will be addressed. In this way, conclusions will be drawn from both the ERP and the ERYP, which will be included in the Declaration of Candás and which will be presented in the European Parliament in Brussels and be able to raise awareness among the bodies that draw up policies. And this is one of the objectives of the celebration of both Parliaments: to culminate the intense work of two years that identify the key problems through a series of local actions.

And it is in this sense that Enrique Nuño, representative of the Government of Spain through the Delegation in Asturias, had an impact. The national government collaborates with parliaments through the Biodiversity Foundation, belongs to the Ministry of Ecological Transition, and the National Rural Network (RRN), belongs to the Ministry of Agriculture. Nuño pointed out that “Asturias deserves to be a leader in defending rural development, which it is, demonstrating that it is the one that manages the funds the most and the best”.

The representative of the Government Delegation stressed the importance of “this civil participative forum, underlining the civil, as it arises from the initiative of the people. And it is they who will take these initiatives to the European political Parliament”.

For the general director of Planning, Agricultural Infrastructures and Mountains, Fernando Prendes, one of the most important issues of the celebration of both Parliaments is “the sense of cooperation from the rural milieu“. An example of this are movements carried out from civil society and, specifically, from the countryside, transferring these initiatives to the institutions since “policies are made from offices by people who do not have the contact and values of the rural world”.

The celebration of both Parliaments thus turns Candás into the rural capital of Europe of 2019, and to commemorate it a fence has been placed at the entrance to the town, in front of the train station, which picks it up. After the meeting, a family photo was taken with the representatives of the different institutions and entities.