EURUFU − European Rural Futures
On the 25th of March 2014 the 3rd EURUFU Scientific Conference took place in Sondershausen, (Kyffhäuser district in Northern Thuringia, Germany) about "Social issues and Health Care in Rural areas in the context of demographic change". Please find the proceedings here.
On the 8th of October 2013 the 2nd EURUFU Scientific Conference took place in Asti Italy about “Education, local economy and job opportunities in rural areas in the context of demographic change". Please find the proceedings here.
On the 14th of May 2013 the 1st EURUFU Scientific Conference took place in Fehérvárcsurgó, Hungary about “Transport and mobility in rural areas in the context of demographic change". Please find the proceedings here.
In cooperation with European partner institutions, „EURUFU − European Rural Futures“ analyzes the challenges of demographic changes for municipalities and towns in rural areas as well as the possibilities of maintaining the level of public services and infrastructure. New strategies for health and social care, education, local economy and job opportunities and mobility should be developed in order to support local and regional competitiveness. As a preparation for practical implementation several pilot actions will be developed, tested and evaluated.
The consequences of demographic change require a fundamental review and adjustment of the public services as well as a new definition of standards. It has been identified that demographic change is one of the new global issues that several countries and regions are now facing. Regions need a sufficient framework to be able to share experiences and information and to adapt to the relevant changes in order to react on the demographic changes. The overall goal of EURUFU is to promote actions for the provision of innovative solutions to restructure services and infrastructure in shrinking regions and thus support the sustainable development of rural regions by developing and adapting integrated measures and strategies for regional problems at transnational level. It should be implemented a range of regional balanced services and economic and cultural opportunities to hold and attract inhabitants, entrepreneurs and investors.
The specific objectives are
- The sensitization of stakeholders by creating transparency about the coming challenges of demographic changes and highlighting the possibilities and opportunities for active action.
- Active framing of demographic change in close cooperation between the different partners and stakeholders (administration, politics, business, schools, associations ...) in the regions.
- Mitigation of population decline and long-term trend reversal.
- Adaptation of infrastructure to the negative consequences of the changing population structure .
- Initiation of pilot projects to frame and adapt to demographic change.
- Transferring knowledge at European level and initiate a long-term intensive and continuous dialogue between actors of regional development.
The partnership consists of 11 different entities from 7 European countries (AT, CZ, DE, HU, IT, PL, SI), which fulfil specific functions within the project and represents regional and local authorities, regional development agencies and educational organizations. International cooperation is vital for the achievement of the expected results due to the complexity and transnational dimension of demographic change in Central Europe. One focus will be the sensitization of regional stakeholders to the current situation and future of demographic change in their area. By the development of a benchmarking system including relevant possibilities and opportunities for active adaptation a common strategy will be elaborated. Based on that common strategy, 10 regional pilot actions will be initiated and implemented to find crosscutting solutions to deal for sustainable public service provision. Subsequently their potential for transferability and exchangeability between the regions will be evaluated and they will become part of a transnational action plan.
Lead Partner: Thuringian Ministry for Building, Regional Development and Infrastructure (DE)
Further partners: University of Applied Sciences Erfurt (DE), Ústí Region (CZ), Salzburg Institute for Regional Planning and Housing (AT), EU Regional Management Upper Styria West (AT), VÁTI Hungarian Public Nonprofit Limited Liability Company for Regional Development and Town Planning (HU), Central Transdanubian Regional Development Agency (HU), Local Development Agency Langhe Monferrato Roero (IT), Development Agency Sora (SI), Biotechnical Centre Naklo (SI), Municipality of Brzeg Dolny (PL).