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Depopulation in Europe: some strategies and solutions in Spain Developing rural and sparsely populated and ultra-peripheral areas: strategies and actions.

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Presentation on theme: "Depopulation in Europe: some strategies and solutions in Spain Developing rural and sparsely populated and ultra-peripheral areas: strategies and actions."— Presentation transcript:

1 Depopulation in Europe: some strategies and solutions in Spain Developing rural and sparsely populated and ultra-peripheral areas: strategies and actions 25 January 2007 Antonio Arrufat Gascón Spanish Federation of Municipalities & Provinces (Member Association of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions) Vice-president of the Provincial Government of Teruel REGIONS FOR ECONOMIC CHANGE CONFERENCE

2 1. The population imbalance in Europe may result in Increased territorial imbalance Loss in quality of life Underutilisation of existing infrastucture (budget implications) Loss of natural, cultural and architectural heritage Fall in productivity, slow-down of economic growth, loss in competitiveness Increase in depencency levels Heterogeneity: overpopulation of large cities and depopulation of rural areas and mountain areas

3 2. Demographic change at local and regional level – risks of depopulation patchwork of shrinking and growing communities (heterogeneity) influences nearly every sphere of life: labour market, housing, social systems, infrastructure, urban and spatial planning, education, public finance, economic development challenge to future of public services (rising costs and changing demands) Rural areas particularly affected Local and regional authorities cannot afford to remain inactive: Need strategies to slow down depopulation and population shrinkage Need successful strategies to adapt to a changed reality

4 3. Demographic evolution of Spanish provinces experiencing depopulation ( ) Percentage of accumulated population loss in Spain ( ): -454,47 By 2050, Spain will have highest % of people above 65 years (37%) By 2050 expected population decrease of –24%, i.e. 9.4 million

5 Objective Attract settlement of entrepreneurs in rural areas Instrument: EU Community Initiative LEADER + Interterritorial cooperation: 15 local action groups in 4 Autonomous Communities of Spain 4. Example of interregional strategy in Spain

6 Pilot project NEXOS-EQUALTERUEL: integration of imigrant families in municipalities in the province of Teruel (CI EQUAL) Help local authorities with rehabilitation of social housing Creation and opening of Multiservices in municipalities without basic services Launch of new association HABITATE 5. Good practice in the Province of Teruel: attracting and retaining people

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8 6. Local action in Teruel Province: La Cerollera, Camañas y Aguilar de Alfambra Socioeconomic impact of local population in repopulation project Creation of synergies between public and private activities Creation of jobs, services and housing for new population Sustainable development plan based on use of local resources Preservation of local identity/ promotion of intercultural living Progressive increase of population over last 8 year

9 7. FEMP proposal: a national fund to fight rural depopulation Priority Axes: Business development, creation of employment and increase in quality of life Promotion of local produce Investment in alternative energies Social support and women employment Housing support Mobility, accessibility and new technologies

10 8. FEMP proposal: a national fund to fight rural depopulation (2) A. Principle: Take as reference point the population loss of a province in the period (in year II it would extend until 2001 to take into account variation) B. Formula: % decline of accumulated population loss x (+ anual increas of IPC): Spain (yr.1) = 454,47 x = C. Management: Entity must have technical capacity and must support a supramunicipal vision (larger region) Provincial government and equivalent ideal level

11 9. Outlook: supporting local and regional authorities to manage demographic change Help develop and implement innovative approach to demographic change (foster exchange of practical solutions) Demography Check: need to review EU policies in light of demographic change (particularly CAP, environment and regional policy) Realignment of EU Structural Funds and EAFRD – sustain balanced territorial development of EU Priority to fund necessary adaptations and conversions in localities affected negatively by demographic change Need EU and national programmes for integrated development of shrinking regions (finances, concepts and instruments to manage change)


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