This EU Intergroup is the continuation of RUMRA, changed its name to Smart Villages for Rural Communities in order to use the brand created around the Smart Villages initiative during the last term. It is a working group for policy makers to carry out coordinated legislative and policy initiatives in favor of regions that are underrepresented in public dialogue. It is formed by Europeans from the different groups, especially concerned about this issue, and entities related to the rural environment in Europe such as Euromontana, RED (Rurality, Environment and Development), FREE initiative (Future of Rural Energy in Europe), JSCA (European Council of Young Farmers) and the SSPA Network as a new member.
Its objective is to bring the voice of rural communities to the European Parliament, promoting initiatives in the rural development of these areas with a transversal vision. Furthermore, they disseminate to society as a whole, how these territories are areas of opportunity and strengthen the territorial cohesion of the European Union, as recognized in the Lisbon Treaty, which recognizes the specific needs of these territories.
The European Network of SSPA Lobby, formed by the business organizations and leader groups of Cuenca, Soria and Teruel, has been working for several years in contact with various entities of the European Union and MEPs, transmitting the serious demographic and development situation of these areas and the lack of policies and funds to face a recovery that is necessary to achieve the territorial cohesion of Europe. His serious and documented work has made him a recognized entity, participating regularly in forums and events where the situation of the European rural environment is addressed, and generating a close collaboration with representatives and organizations from other depopulated areas of Europe.
The SSPA network attended last Tuesday the Intergroup meeting in the European Parliament, in Strasbourg, which has begun its remodeling with the new MEPs. As a new associate member in his response to the welcome speech of its President, Slovenian MEP Franc Bogovic, SSPA has urged European MEPs to defend the amendments introduced in first reading to the regulations of the funds in the last legislature to force the EU and its Member States to implement effective policies and funds against depopulation throughout Europe and especially in provinces with less than 12.5 inhabitants per square kilometer, such as Cuenca, Soria, Teruel (Spain, Lika-Senj (Croatia) and Euritania (Greece).