Transforming urban-rural divide into territorial co-operation

Governance Committee Strasbourg, France 15 September 2020
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Transforming urban-rural divide into territorial co-operation

The Congress Governance Committee adopted a report prepared by co-rapporteurs Wilma Delissen Van Tongerlo (Netherlands, ILDG) and Matija Kovac (Serbia, EPP/CCE) on the development of urban-rural interplay, on 15 September 2020 during an online meeting.

“The increasing divide between urban and rural areas represents a major challenge for local and regional authorities in terms of development and financial resources,” stated Wilma Delissen Van Tongerlo during the presentation of the report. “I am convinced that responding to these challenges requires strong co-operation between the national, regional and local levels," she underlined.

The report stresses that interplay between the different levels of government must be guided by the principle of subsidiarity not only in the relations between the national, subnational and local levels, but also in the relations within the local level. It identifies the strengths and weaknesses of urban and rural areas and encourages authorities to take these features into account. This requires mutual understanding of very different realities, taking into account the specificities of each area and equal treatment in policymaking.

The draft recommendation proposes to formalise this interaction, at the national level, through incentives for co-operation. Development of public transport, reduction of the digital divide and equal access to essential public services are all areas in which interconnection and interaction between urban and rural areas are essential.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly accelerated the process of interconnectedness and virtual proximity. It has also changed the definition of mobility. We need to pay attention to these developments,” stressed Mrs. Delissen Van Tongerlo. “The gap between urban and rural areas must be bridged and all efforts should be applied to transform urban-rural divide into urban-rural cooperation,” she concluded.

The draft recommendation and resolution will be presented for adoption at a future Congress session.

Agenda and documents:
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Kjartan Magnusson, tel. + 33 3 88 41 28 24

See also:

Gouvernance Committee Meeting - 15 September 2020