According to the United Nations Population Division, the projected population decline and ageing will have profound and far-reaching consequences in the EU, forcing Governments to reassess many established economic, social and political policies and programmes, including those relating to international migration. Demographic change in Europe is increasingly becoming a major policy challenge. Predominantly, rural regions currently account for 28% of Europe’s population. Over the past decades a shrinking population has become the normal trajectory for many rural regions as agriculture has been restructured and population and employment have become increasingly concentrated in urban centres. By 2050, the population of Europe’s urban regions is projected to increase by 24.1 million persons and will provide home to almost half of the EU-28 population (Eurostat 2016). By contrast, the population of predominantly rural regions is projected to fall by 7.9 million.
The project aims to explore possibilities of rural development and cultural heritage to tackle unemployment and depopulation. These possibilities may include sustainable tourism, practices of coproduction and sustainable start up among the others. The best practices will be collected in a toolkit drafted by all partners, to create a tool for guidance for unemployed adults, entrepreneurs and workers employed in rural areas willing to start sustainable development activities
During the 24 months project there will be 3 main steps in the project activities:
Research in all the partners’ countries of best practices of rural development, pros and cons, social, economic and cultural dilemmas.
A toolkit will be compiled consisting of over 16 months research- from each participant country.
The 5-day training provides a learning platform for employability, entrepreneurship and to explore development polices across Europe.