The European Rural Parliament has approved a manifesto calling for recognition of the right of rural communities to a standard of living equal to that of urban populations, and to full participation in political processes.
The approval was at a gathering in Austria of 240 people representing rural communities from 40 countries, including Ireland.
The manifesto seeks actions on 30 key issues over the next few years.
It calls for a refreshed and equitable partnership between people and governments, and recognises that rural people have a responsibility to act on behalf of their own well-being.
The manifesto demands that governments at all levels, including the European institutions, work to make this crucial partnership effective.
It also urges Brussels to mount a major review of the condition of rural areas within the EU.
“The conclusions from this review should be reflected in enhanced focus upon rural areas within all relevant EU programmes and funds,” it says.
Seamus Boland, chief executive of Irish Rural Link, said it was glad to take part in this pan-European exercise, because it will address the future of rural communities in terms of sustainability.
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