The European Rural Parliament
What is it?
The European Rural Parliament is a long-term campaign to express the voice of rural people in Europe; and to promote self-help and action by the rural people, in partnership with civil society and governments.
Why is it needed?
200 million people, almost one third of the population of the wider Europe, live in rural areas. They contribute strongly to local, national and European economies. Their social and economic well-being is of crucial importance. They face great challenges, including loss of young people and of rural services in many regions. Their future depends upon vigorous action by the rural communities themselves, and upon well-conceived policies and action by governments at all levels.
The ERP campaign is driven by the belief that the interests of rural communities (i.e. all people who live or work in rural regions) are under-represented in national and European debates and in the shaping of policies and programmes; that rural people themselves have the best understanding of their strengths, opportunities and needs; and that rural communities should be encouraged to take action in pursuit of their own well-being, and to be positive partners of governments at all levels.
What is its aim?
The European Rural Parliament is designed to:
Who organises it?
The European Rural Parliament is co-initiated by three pan-European networks:
A major role in the European Rural Parliament campaign is being played by European and national partners, most of whom are members of the co-initiating networks.
ERP Steering Group
A Steering Group is drawn from 3 representatives of each network is responsible for the strategic planning and oversight of the ERP. Each organisation is also able to supply a Joint Co-ordinator.
Current Steering Group members are:
|Vanessa Halhead||Joint Co-ordinator|
|Kim Smedslund||Joint Co-ordinator|
|Kirsten Birke Lund|
|Staffan Bond||Representative of funding partner HSSL|
|Ben van Essen||Representative of ERP hosting partner LVKK|
Michael Dower (PREPARE) and Kirsten Birke Lund (ELARD)
The Austrian team:
Organising the 2nd ERP in Austria (Schärding): the team was led by Thomas Müller with Lizé Grimbeek, the LAG Sauwald-Pramtal and the Highschool ”HAK” Schärding.
The Dutch team:
Organising the 3rd ERP in the Netherlands: the team was led by Ingeborg Verschuuren with Ben van Essen, Judith Verbruggen, Rob Maessen, Bas Leenders.