European shrinking rural areas: Key messages for a refreshed long-term vision


Resumen


Resumen: El artículo comienza con un debate sobre el concepto de “contracción” y sus orígenes, fuera del ámbito del desarrollo rural. A partir de ahí, se muestra la distribución de las zonas rurales en contracción en toda Europa. A continuación, se describen los procesos socioeconómicos que impulsan el declive demográfico en las zonas rurales, utilizando tanto la revisión bibliográfica del proyecto ESCAPE como los resultados de sus ocho estudios de caso. Seguidamente, se describe de forma breve la evolución de las intervenciones de la UE para paliar los efectos del declive demográfico, y se hacen algunas observaciones sobre el panorama político/de gobernanza actual. Concluimos considerando cómo una mejor comprensión del problema y del proceso de reducción puede conducir a intervenciones más eficaces, en el contexto de una visión renovada a largo plazo para el medio rural europeo. Este último debe reconocer plenamente el creciente abanico de oportunidades a las que se enfrentan las zonas rurales, a medida que la COVID-19 cambia estas y se aceleran las transformaciones en el comportamiento laboral y en la geografía de la actividad económica, y se cumplen los anteriores cambios graduales en la tecnología y los mercados.


 


Palabras clave: Espacios rurales, declive demográfico, enfoque neo-endógeno, crecimiento inclusivo.




Abstract: The paper begins with a discussion of the concept of “shrinking”, and its origins, outside the realm of rural development. Building on this, the paper shows the distribution of shrinking rural areas across Europe. Using both the project’s literature review and findings from its eight case studies the socio-economic processes which drive demographic decline in rural areas are then described. A brief account of the evolution of EU interventions to alleviate the effects of shrinking, and some remarks about the current policy/governance landscape follow. We conclude by considering how a better understanding of the problem and process of shrinking may lead to more effective interventions, within the context of a refreshed long-term vision for Rural Europe. The latter needs to fully acknowledge the expanding repertoire of opportunities confronting rural areas as COVID-19 changes in working behaviour, and the geography of economic activity, accelerate, and fulfil, previously incremental shifts in technology and markets.


 


Key words: Rural areas, demographic decline, neo-endogenous approach, inclusive growth.


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TERRA: Revista de Desarrollo Local. ISSN: 2386-9968. journal.terra@gmail.com



TERRA: Revista de Desarrollo Local. ISSN: 2386-9968. journal.terra@gmail.com