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Policy recommendations ”Ecovillages for sustainable rural development”

The formulation of a set of policy recommendations to facilitate the development of ecovillages in the Baltic Sea Region is another core output of the Ecovillages project. The policy recommendations are meant to trigger public deliberation at national and EU levels on the policy implications drawn from the results of the Ecovillages project in order to facilitate the development of ecovillages as a sustainable way of living in the Baltic Sea Region. 

The policy recommendations presented in the document below are a result of intense collaboration. Reflections about policy recommendations have been initiated discussed and sketched by all project partners and associated project partners in collaboration with different stakeholders.  They are a condensed set of scientifically based and democratically deliberated policy recommendations, which can be used in the tailoring of the rural development policy measures at different levels of government. Importantly, they are sensitive to socio-economic and techno-logical development needs of Ecovillages.

6 core issues have been identified that need to be addressed in order to improve the state of development of ecovillages and in order to utilize the full potential of ecovillages as drivers for sustainable development of rural areas: 

1) Energy issues;

2) Land use, planning & building regulation (incl. sewage);

3) Public funding & support;

4) Alternative business & organizational models;

5) Education, training, information dissemination & exchange, publicity;

6) More R&D focus on eco-living, alternative food production.

All 6 areas need to be tackled through a number of reforms that are considered in the policy recommendations. The policy recommendations along with the manuals have been sent to all individuals and institutions that have an influence in the tailoring of the rural development policy measures at different levels of government and would be ready to contribute to the sustainable development of rural areas in the BSR. The addressees include:

  • Members of European Parliament in Finland, Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland;
  • Directorates of Rural Development Programmes II and Sustainability and Quality of Agriculture and rural development of European Economic and Social Committee;
  • The European Commissioner for the Regional and Urban Policy;
  • The European Commissioner for the Environment;
  • Council of the European Union;
  • Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Parliament;
  • ESPON Coordination Unit;
  • European Investment Bank;
  • Commissions of Environment, Climate Change and Energy (ENVE) and Natural Resources (NAT) of the Committee of the Regions and Local Authorities;
  • Etc.

The policy recommendations document is available below:

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