Bled hosts conference on smart villages
The event was hosted by Slovenian MEP Franc Bogovič (EPP) and the Slovenian member of the European Commission, Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc.
The concept of smart villages addresses challenges faced by European rural areas because of people moving to towns and the disappearance of traditional jobs.
It offers an idea of how to use modern technologies and concepts to replace the lost jobs with new ones. These efforts would be part of a EU policy that would bring together different stakeholders and secure the necessary funds.
The conference was attended by several Slovenian ministers, including outgoing PM Miro Cerar and Agriculture Minister Dejan Židan, as well as European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan, while Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel addressed it via a video call.
Also attending the event was Hungarian MEP Tibor Szanyi (S&D), who is together with Bogovič involved in the smart villages project in the European Parliament.
Last month, Bogovič won an European Parliament Magazine award for promoting new technologies in agriculture, the circular economy and for the smart villages initiative.
The conference was opened with addresses by Bogovič, Bulc and Cerar, followed by a discussion with both MEPs and the three European commissioners.
The event featured another three panel debates focusing on mobility in the countryside; the common agricultural policy; and digital innovation and new technologies.
The conference was termed European Action for Smart Villages for a Brighter Future of Rural Areas in the EU. As part of it, a Bled Declaration was signed and the SunContract global platform enabling people to trade in electricity directly launched.