Commission supports regions in Spain to address rural depopulation

The Commission, in cooperation with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and with the support of the Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP), now Technical Support Instrument, has launched the project “Strategic Governance Plan for Rural Depopulation in the macro-region of South-west of Europe (RESOE)” in Spain. In the last decades, Asturias, Cantabria, Castilla y León and Galicia faced strong rural depopulation, employment has become increasingly concentrated in urban centres and population has started to age. Given their common characteristics, the four regions joined forces to develop a common strategy to tackle depopulation. This project will develop a horizontal action plan with a common, holistic and coordinated approach to address demographic decline providing recommendations to develop better policies. Priority will be given to four topics of key importance for rural development: i) quality in the service provision, ii) digitalisation, iii) governance, strategies and implementation, and iv) social entrepreneurship and innovation. The SRSP offers expertise to all EU countries for the implementation of growth-enhancing reforms. The support is based on request and is tailor-made for the beneficiary Member State. Since 2017, the programme has been supporting over 1000 reform projects in all 27 Member States. More information from the regional authority of Cantabria (in Spanish) can be found here.