Topic 1 : Europe in the interests of rural societies and their inhabitants


7 september 2010 - Programme

Our first topic will be examined from the viewpoint of our island : a ‘little bit of Europe’ out in the middle of the Indian Ocean, and notably through a presentation and analysis of the development of rural areas in the mountain zones of Reunion. This important project, on the scale of the island, is being carried out within the context of the LEADER programme, which, applying an innovative approach, makes it possible to fund projects specifically adapted to the reality of the territory and its inhabitants, and is largely initiated by the latter.

Through an analysis of the application of the processes actually set up, we will analyse the changes taking place and the characteristics of the new governance of European rural areas. These have been made possible and necessary in the context of the new European structure and were set out in the resolutions of the Lisbon Strategy. This strategy, voted by the European Council in Lisbon in March 2000, sets out the major points of the economic and development policy of the European Union between 2000 and 2010. The aim is to achieve “sustainable economic growth, going hand in hand with quantitative and qualitative improvements in respect of employment as well as closer social cohesion” in European territories.

It is in the same context that we will study the question of innovation as the motor for change in rural areas : technological innovation, notably linked to the environment and ecological questions ; socio-economic innovation inextricably linked to all actions in the field of sustainable development ; innovations to be approached and analysed within an island structure, belonging both to the European and the Indian Ocean space.



Three topics are proposed for the next European Rural University, which will take place on 7th, 8th and 9th September 2010 in Saint-Joseph :

- Europe at the service of the rural community and its inhabitants,
- Rural professions for women,
- Culture : between heritage and innovation.

16 November 2009