Menu Close

Active Citizens in Rural Areas

«Current translation pending review – For demonstration only».

Since the 1970s, the situation in many rural areas of Europe has changed dramatically. A process of accelerated recession is ongoing: severe population decline, declining facilities, poor infrastructure, changes in the agricultural sector, business closures, school closures, migration of young people, employment decline, vacant houses and buildings, increasing poverty. K. There is an urgent need for social sustainability and the development of the capacity of villages in rural areas to live. Together, young and old, they need to discuss the changes in modern lifestyles and the consequences they have on the organization of modern social structures. For this reason, the project partners identify the existence of active citizens and volunteering as a growth factor that needs support. It is important to record the desires of education and training of the active inhabitants of the villages. Program partners believe that (non-formal) education and training should play a decisive role in the issues outlined above. The aim of the program is to create innovative practices to promote active citizenship in rural areas to tackle the negative developments there. Different European approaches to the same needs and challenges will coexist in the same context: a common strategy for rural areas across Europe. Individuals and local communities will be empowered for a better future and at the same time the European dimension of the project will be disseminated to the beneficiary communities, making them full and equal European citizens.

The House of Europe in Rhodes participates as a partner in the READ IT program supported by Erasmus + of the European Union, with the aim of representing the Greek rural areas but mainly the integration of the islands and small islands in the effort and the potential benefits.

The project is a collaboration of organizations participating in the European Network for Education and Training – European Network for Education and Training, e.V. – EUNET. Network members from Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, France, Poland and Sweden are participating.

The objectives of the program are:

  • Increasing the social viability of small villages in rural and island regions.
  • Developing innovative ways to promote active citizenship in these areas.
  • Informing stakeholders of the opportunities for exchange.
  • Sharing the pooled experience between the project participants and their partners.
  • Developing a handbook with examples from different countries available and useful in a wider European context.

READ IT is a biennial program with four international meetings: in France, Sweden, Greece (Rhodes, and Poland), with 24 participants in each seminar providing a unique opportunity to exchange new skills and methods for collaboration, solidarity and new partnerships between these countries’ rural areas The program will further develop a digital manual for locally implemented development practices, giving value to the work of the active citizens, volunteers and professionals involved.

See also the program website: