On September 6th, a new Cork Declaration “A Better Life in Rural Areas” has been drafted as a result of a two days Stakeholder Conference on Rural Development. AREPO participated to Cork 2.0 Rural Development Conference to contribute to the discussion highlighting the potential of quality and origin products for rural development.
Coming exactly 20 years after the first conference, Cork 2.0 conference on Rural Development gathered together around 300 stakeholders in a series of workshops, in order to draft a new Cork Declaration that reflects the new challenges facing the sector in the 21st century.
EU Commissioner Phil Hogan opened and closed the conference, with other speakers including European Parliament Agriculture Committee Chair Czesław Siekierski, the current AgriFish Council President Slovak Minister Gabrielea Matečná, and former EU Commissioners Janesz Potočnik and Franz Fischler.
The declaration asks for an innovative, integrated and inclusive rural and agricultural policy in the European Union. Furthermore, the document defines 10 policy orientations to achieve this objective, while promoting rural prosperity, strengthening rural value chains, investing in rural viability and vitality, preserving the rural environment, managing natural resources, encouraging climate action, boosting knowledge and innovation and enhancing rural governance. The policy orientation also highlighted the need to advance policy delivery and simplification as well as to improve performance and accountability.
The declaration states that we should met the growing consumers’ demands for quality products and we should recognise the important role of food identity.
Speaking at the conclusion of the conference, EU Commissioner Phil Hogan endorsed the call for better recognition of the rural potential to deliver innovative, inclusive and sustainable solutions for current and future societal challenges and supported the call for a united rural voice for the rural proofing of all EU policies.
For more details on the conference, see the conference website.