Fight against depopulation It is one of the objectives that the Generalitat has set for itself in the coming years. For this, the «Strategy Avant 20/30»A document containing the lines to follow to alleviate inequalities in rural areas. And in that line, in addition, the president of the Consell, Ximo Puig, stressed that European funds are the great opportunity to “correct depopulation imbalances.” For which the Generalitat, within the framework of the Valencian Recovery Strategy, has already presented to the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge 32 projects that aspire to receive European funds.
These actions, whose estimated budget is 685 million euros, They contemplate actions such as the Promotion of Vocational Training with training offers in unpopulated areas; a program for the hiring of unemployed people in municipal emergency services, or the deployment of 5G telecommunications infrastructures to promote digitization and development.
Puig highlighted “the great hope” that these EU funds represent, which “will be available to the extent that we are able to generate projects”, but insisted that the most important thing rural areas need are human resources and “the conviction to have a future. To do this, he appealed to the need to “make rural areas attractive” especially for young people and to launch the “plan for reflection, debate and action.”
A strategy that was presented yesterday in Castellón where Puig stressed that an “alliance of institutional alliances” is necessary to overcome “the border of inequality” in rural areas. And he did so in the presence of the Minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, and other councilors such as Housing, Rubén Martínez Dalmau; the Minister of Agriculture, Mireia Mollà; and the Minister for Territorial Policy, Arcadi Spain.
This “AVANT 20/30 Strategy” has been promoted together with public universities and the participation of the agents involved. But what is this tool about? Well, to have a document aimed at combating depopulation through participated strategic planning. For this, the contributions of a team of experts in territorial and rural development from public universities and a process of participation of the groups involved have been collected. The strategy has two parts: the first, an abbreviated diagnosis of the current scenario with the problems as well as the potentialities and opportunities that the territories in the process of depopulation possess. The second part includes the design of strategies for political action to combat depopulation.
The diagnosis made has confirmed that in the Valencian Community there are 224 municipalities with less than 1,000 inhabitants, 40% of the total, corresponding in most cases to inland regions, and in them the dependent population exceeds 60%. In addition, the aging rate of 55% (297) of Valencian municipalities is higher than 20%, especially in those located in the interior of the provinces of Castellón and Valencia, and in the mountain area of Alicante. In fact, in the province, fifteen municipalities face the risk of being left empty or with a minimum number of inhabitants in the medium term due to the absence of births. But up to a total of 40 populations are affected to a greater or lesser extent.
Regional plan More than 250 actions in all areas
The Anti-Depopulation Plan “AVANT Strategy 20/30” comprises 5 strategic lines and more than 250 actions in the economic, environmental, social, cultural and political governance fields. For example, a policy aimed at facilitating differentiated taxation is contemplated, in order to facilitate business entrepreneurship; measures to boost employment, through various programs; the study of a future Law of Territorial Balance, consequence of the Territorial Strategy of the Community; actions to guarantee access to quality social services; or to value the cultural dimension as a factor against depopulation; among many.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.