Multi-annual project of the charter of European rural communities

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award


The Charter of European Rural Communities is an agreement between small villages from every country of the EU, under the motto ‘People meet people’. It has been in existence since 1989. The Charter expanded with the enlargement of the EU and now has 27 members, one from each of the EU Member States. The main objectives of the Charter of European Rural Communities are:

  • European integration under the motto, ‘People meet people’;
  • To be a structural network and organise an annual network meeting;
  • To stimulate the members to cooperate in different projects;
  • To stimulate bilateral exchanges between the members;
  • To stimulate small meetings of member communities throughout the year;
  • To get to know each other and each other’s way of life;
  • Affirmation of unity and cooperation between the member communities;
  • Expansion of the Charter in line with the official enlargement of the EU;
  • An efficient and transparent organisation.

For 2009 and 2010 the Charter has set up a multi-annual project. On behalf of the Charter of European Rural Communities, the municipality of Haaren applied for the tender and was awarded the contract to implement the activities. Within the multi-annual project, the following activities are planned:

  • Four conferences on the topic of ‘participation in local democracy’ will be organised. During those conferences there will be special attention for citizens’ involvement at local, national and European democracy. In each conference six Charter communities participate alternately, each with five participants;
  • Two big citizens’ meetings with the theme of ‘Liveability’ will be held. All Charter communities participate in these meetings with a delegation of ten people;
  • Two workshops for youngsters from the Charter communities on the issue of ‘Involvement of Youth in the Charter’ will be organised. Seven Charter communities participate, each with two people. The result of the two meetings will be a DVD for the young people in all Charter communities;
  • A further workshop ‘Friends of Europe’ will be organised. The Charter encourages the establishment of local Friends of Europe organisations which help the Charter municipalities to organise activities;
  • An ‘Elderly in Movement’ conference is planned for 2010.

Charter members, young and old, are real Europeans. They show a lot of interest in each other and each other’s culture and way of life. By staying in host families, they get to know these elements from inside, literally ‘Europe at the kitchen table’. People meet people and become friends, with appreciation and respect for the different cultures and above all with an eye for the affinity and the opportunities to do things together. It offers members the chance to learn from each other about solving problems in their rural areas, because a lot of the problems are similar in the various countries. Several international and national politicians have already shown their interest in and appreciation of the Charter.

Multi-annual project of the charter of European rural communities (52.132633, 5.291266)
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