Meeting Philoxeniaplus : Open Day "attractive rural territories: A strength for the construction of Europe”, in Zaragoza (Spain) on 7th of April 2014
About 30 people analyzed the European Philoxenia Plus program and several projects in which groups and associations working in the framework of the Rural Development. Teruel Provincial Council held at the headquarters of the Government of Aragon in Zaragoza, a day aimed at technicians working for Rural Development and the media in order to analyze the different proposals and projects being carried out in different regions in Teruel the framework of the fight against depopulation. The DPT and District Community Teruel explained the progress of the European Philoxenia Plus program, an initiative that seeks to generate small businesses in rural areas that respond to the needs of the neighbors have raised and to ensure the settlement of new families.
Some key-sentences of the three opening speeches
"The fight against rural depopulation should not only be treated at the local, regional or national but also at European level"
“The rural area has to be boosted; we must focus on positive discrimination, generating economic activities and arrival of new populations”
“The Diputacion Provincial of Teruel lost 1000 inhabitants per year; the trend has reversed in recent years”
Presentation of the Philoxeniaplus project
Short presentation of Philoxeniaplus project focused on five selected good practices (Philoxenia, Soho Solo, portal of installation in the rural area, Inflowence, One Village One Product) about their goals and their methodology of implementation as well as their concrete results.
From the resource to the product: Transformation of rural resources into goods or services for sale
Presentation of successes (truffles of Javalambre, rural cottages, mycological preservation) and failures (precooked potatoes for dishes) of projects within the Leader programme conducted since 1991 creating approximately 9,000 direct jobs in the territory of Maestrazgo which certainly suffers the main problems of depopulation (density of 3 inhabitants per km2). The balance between + and - is positive. The creation of the "Maestrazgo" trademark on products has created a strong sign of belonging, local pride.
Les TIC et les villages de Teruel : outils indispensables pour la survie du territoire
The territory of the Teruel province has a nearly complete coverage in 2G but very weak in 3G and non-existent in 4G. Movistar, the Spanish operator, has obviously the best coverage.
The University develops ICT products in agriculture, animal husbandry, tourism, assistance to people, health, property safety, the environment and teleworking.
Need for changes in legislation to adopt measures of positive discrimination for the creation of businesses in rural areas
The shire of Teruel has 46 municipalities. A 2013-2017 strategic territorial development plan was prepared with 32 measures, including legislation on childcare parents ( casas canguro ) , food or transportation, economic sectors whose territorial legislation must evolve and improve. On the other hand, it was established a program of " Assistance to the homeless person" with a specific budget of € 200,000 as economic support for traditional businesses and new self-employed according to the number of inhabitants in the village ... for municipalities who do not have these traditional services. Similarly, the Comarca is external partner of Philoxeniaplus program for detecting and assessing local products that generate economic activity and thus promote the arrival of new residents. This is the implementation of good practice A Village- One Product which has interested the Comarca but independent initiatives such as the “Librairie des Territoires” are also very interesting.
In conclusion, in Teruel we would like to have more flexible the legislation on direct sales from farmers to consumers in Aragón to allow for the rural tourism have an additional activity as it exists in France and was seen during the field trip organized in Auch in the Philoxeniaplus project on March 2014.