In the most recent years, rural areas have been under the threat of structural and persistent dangers: public services desertification, depopulation, poverty... In rural areas, young people are twice as likely to be unemployed as their adult counterparts, and in 2014, 27.2% of the rural population in the EU was at risk of poverty. Furthermore, underlying phenomenon such as the brain drain or population aging hinders the development of rural areas: to their disadvantage, high skills and competencies are captured by Member States' urban centers.
Rural areas and rural youth qualify as a priority area for EU public action. With the Conference on the Future of Europe sketching a new route to prosperity, there is an opportunity to redirect funding mechanisms and public policies' vitality towards supporting the growth of rural areas. The path to recovery and further integration cannot ignore the peripheries of the Member States.
Between the 2nd of July 2021 and the 10th of July 2021, together with RESOPA, Prisma European Network gathered a consortium of thirty youth workers and young people from ten European countries to extensively work on the issue of rural development with Entre Ruralités. #Entreruralites was a training course aiming to uncover how youth organizations can empower young entrepreneurs in rural areas. Four challenges, four obstacles to dismantle, were put on the programme's agenda: youth unemployment, community development, civic engagement, the brain drain.
Championing Rural Development congregates the findings of Entre Ruralités. Through its perusal, youth workers will gain concrete instruments to better understand the needs of the rural youth and champion the entrepreneurs that will enact the rural development of tomorrow.
Written by Jade Andrzejewski and directed by PRISMA's President Gabriel Brezoiu and RESOPA's President Gilles Ervard Essuman, this toolkit is the fruit of the collaboration of Entre Ruralités ' participants.