The Slovenia Times

Farm ministers urge stronger urban-rural dialogue


Brdo pri Kranju - EU agriculture ministers called for a stronger dialogue between urban and rural areas as they held an informal meeting in Brdo pri Kranju on Tuesday. Slovenia's Jože Podgoršek said conflicts needed to be prevented with the help of better infrastructure and technology.

The key challenge highlighted by Podgoršek is poor connectivity between the countryside and urban areas, and differences in access to services such as healthcare, education and culture.

He said the near-unanimous view was that "a multifaceted, multi-policy approach to rural development is needed," leveraging not just the EU's Common Agriculture Policy but also the post-pandemic recovery funds and cohesion funds.

The role of farmers in the preservation of rural areas must be acknowledged and special emphasis placed on the role that women and youths play in the countryside, he said.

European Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski presented to the ministers the vision for the development of rural areas in the EU that the Commission launched in June.

He said that in public consultations leading up to the adoption of this vision, the most frequently raised concern was the lack of communication infrastructure and public transportation.

This long-term vision is important for member states as they prepare their national rural development plans, in particular in that it indicates that more attention needs to be dedicated to synergies between different policies, according to him.


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