The senator of the GPP for Cantabria affirms that the rural environment "is a luxury that must be promoted and digitized"
He assures that "to face the demographic challenge we have to take measures in the short and long term, to fight against the deficiency of services and the lack of employment"
He demands that the Government "provide smart solutions for small municipalities", such as rural tourism, organic farming or entrepreneurship
The spokesperson for Digital Transformation of the Popular Group, Javier Puente, has stated that "the rural world, if we reinforce its digitization, has a golden opportunity in times of Covid" and added that "it is a luxury that must be promoted and digitized" . The senator of the PP for Cantabria has today defended a motion of his Group, in the Committee on Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, in which he urges the Government to work on the development of the European initiative in rural areas on intelligent towns or 'Smart Villages'. Puente has assured that to face the demographic challenge and "give life to the rural environment, we have to take measures in the short, medium and long term, to fight against the deficiency of services and the lack of employment". Thus, the popular senator has called on the Government to "provide smart solutions for small municipalities", such as rural tourism, organic farming or entrepreneurship and has pointed out that "these strategies can be enhanced with plans from the European Union." During his speech at the Commission, Puente wanted to recall the “important change that the map of Spain has undergone in the last century, with ghost towns throughout our geography”. In addition, he stressed that in the rural world "there is a lack of services and opportunities, essential for job creation."
"Small towns, with good connection and teamwork, can go very far", stressed the PP senator, while highlighting that "areas that have suffered abandonment and depopulation can now take advantage of new technologies, to provide remote solutions and at cheaper prices than in large cities ”. In this sense, Puente stressed that the current health crisis “has made us value the advantages of the rural world and all its potential when it is allied with new technologies. The lower population density, which in other times was considered negative, has proven ideal for remote work today and helps the sustainable development of the rural environment ”.
SMART RURAL TERRITORIES
On the other hand, the senator for Cantabria has referred to the need to promote Smart Rural Territories, "Smart Villages." In his opinion, it is necessary to understand the uniqueness of each territory and respond to four basic points: “Detect the specific model, in the long term, based on its resources and opportunities, which must be implemented in each place; support entrepreneurship, with a development plan that allows and guarantees a future projection for the company, the self-employed and the entrepreneur; implement financing models that simplify and harmonize all sources of financing – municipal, regional, state and European -; and, finally, to promote the use of new information and communication technologies, as an essential tool for development, put at the service of the territories and their inhabitants ”. Finally, Javier Puente has exposed the main points of the motion presented by the Popular Group, in which he urges the Government to work, in cooperation with the European Union, the Autonomous Communities and the municipalities, in the development of 'Smart Villages ', in such a way that:
1.- Communities in rural areas can develop intelligent solutions that respond to the challenges of their local context.
2- The sustainable development of their territories is carried out based on local strengths and opportunities.
3- Strategies are developed and implemented to improve their economic, social and environmental conditions, particularly promoting innovation and using the solutions offered by digital technologies.
4- The use of these new information and communication technologies is facilitated as an essential tool for development, putting them at the service of the territories and all their inhabitants.
5- Manage to benefit from cooperation and alliances with other communities and actors in rural and urban areas.
6- Allow, where appropriate, that the initiation and implementation of ‘Smart Villages’ strategies can be built on existing initiatives.
7- A development plan for the area is carried out that allows and guarantees a future projection for companies, the self-employed and entrepreneurs in general.
8- Sources of financing necessary for its implementation are obtained.
9- Formulas are sought to simplify and harmonize all sources of financing (municipal, regional, state and European) to carry out a transversal policy of territorial development.