Welcome by the President of READER

Dear potential participants of the 4th European Rural Parliament:

I invite you to come to our land, ancient Kingdom of Spain, to the Principality of Asturias, and welcome you to discover our beautiful region, and to meet together in this important event, the IV European Rural Parliament 2019 (ERP).

The Principality of Asturias, known as the Natural Paradise of Spain, is the most mountainous of the Iberian Peninsula, and one of the most mountainous areas of the European Union. It has been a pioneer in tourism and rural development.

As an eminently rural region, we have suffered the serious problems that affect these territories throughout Europe: aging, depopulation, geographic dispersion, isolation, emigration. The strong industrial reconversion of the twentieth century has also seriously affected the Principality of Asturias and for that reason, our effort is placed in the small and medium companies.

Our territory has in its seams the traces of the dinosaurs, the cave paintings of the first men, the vestiges of the Roman period, a cathedral that represents the Gothic past and that culminates with natural treasures carved in the same stone in which we live, great cliffs, sandy beaches, a cobalt blue sea, high mountains that are covered in snow abundantly in winter and plains where a large part of our people live.

It is in this duality, where the urban meets the rural, where we propose to celebrate this European Rural Parliament in the town of Candás, the capital of Carreño, a maritime municipality located in the Cabo Peñas region and integrated into the Local Action Group (LAG) Association for the Integrated Development of the Center of Peri-urban Asturias (ADICAP).

I guarantee you that the population of Candás will receive you with joy and enthusiasm. Especially, people from the sea and the countryside, fishermen, sailors, and farmers, will open their arms and welcome you as if you were neighbors. This town is well equipped with spacious and modern facilities to celebrate this big European event.

The Asturian Rural Development Network (READER), which will host your participation, is an excellent team, including eleven LAGs and more than 70 technicians with extensive experience in the world of rural development. We have the support of, among others, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of the Government of Spain, the General Board of the Principality of Asturias, the High Commissioner against Depopulation in Spain, the Asturian Federation of Councils, the Asturian Federation of Employers, the organizations agrarian unions (ASAJA, COAG and UCA-UPA), the agricultural cooperatives, the Association of Peasant Women of Asturias, the Political Parties with parliamentary representation, the banking and financial entities, the National Railways Network (RENFE) or the transport company by most important road in Spain (ALSA).

Dear friends, from my heart I tell you that you will not only discover a natural paradise, but also a society especially dedicated to the rural world.

Kind regards.

Belarmino Fernández Fervienzal

President of Asturian Network of Rural Development