The vital role of peri urban regions.
PURPLE and CAP reform (Position paper)- Nov. 2007
Rural topic(s): Development of rural territories
Date of writing: April 19, 2009
Author(s) of the proposal: PURPLE (Peri Urban Regions Platform)
PURPLE (Peri Urban Regions Platform), was set up in 2004 and brings together EU regions: Catalunya, Dublin, Flanders, Frankfurt Rhein-Main, Île de France, Mazovia, MHAL (Province of Limburg), Nord Pas de Calais, Regio Randstad, Rhône-Alpes, South East England, Stockholm, West Midlands and Zealand. PURPLE calls to fully recognise the importance of peri urban regions. Agriculture still plays a major part in maintaining the landscape and offering products and services for the city population. PURPLE feels that there is a need for a clearer vision on the future of European agriculture and countryside.
The main issues presented by PURPLE and related to rural areas are the following ones.
Peri urban areas indispensable. An attractive peri urban environment is an indispensable amenity in urban development strategies. The CAP should offer more room to include the urban environment in rural development plans. The Leader approach should offer more opportunities to come to integrated urban-rural development strategies. This means that within the framework of Rural Development Plans and Local Action Plans investments in the urban environment are also eligible for support.
More emphasis on Pillar II. In most cases, budget for Rural Developments has been reduced. Peri urban regions have less means to encourage rural development, to protect its qualities from urban pressure and to preserve its diversity in landscapes and bio diversity and to promote its culture and culinary diversity. There is less budget to promote and support the agricultural sector to become more competitive. PURPLE therefore urges the Commission to enlarge the budgets for Pillar II, also to promote innovation and increase competitiveness of the agricultural sector.
More protection of diversity. One of the main characteristics of rural Europe is its rich diversity, both naturally and culturally. This same is true for peri urban regions. This diversity should be valued more strongly and utilised as assets in developing integrated rural development strategies.(…)
More attention on installation of young farmers. Young farmers are key to make the transition towards a sustainable, multifunctional and competitive agriculture. Policy should be aimed at presenting farming as an attractive career opportunity.
More policy room for payment of green and blue agricultural services. There is a greater need and a greater potential to organise protection of these public goods in the form of so called green (landscape, eco systems, bio diversity) and blue (management of water quantity and quality) services offered by farmers and other land owners. Payment, both public and private, for these services should no longer be based on compensating land owners for production losses, but on real market prices.(…)
More emphasis on the Leader approach. The Leader approach has shown to be an excellent tool in facilitating innovation and promoting rural development. Raising the budget for Pillar II would offer more room to implement the Leader approach on a wider scale for those Member States and regions willing to do so.
Keywords: rural-urban relationship, rural policy, CAP - Common Agricultural Policy, sustainable agriculture, Leader approach, peri-urban agriculture, Cultural diversity, integrated rural development, ecosystem services, landscape preservation