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    Austrian Federal Ministry presents “Master Plan for Rural Areas”

    High up-to-date topic for this year’s 13th Conference of European Regions and Cities in Salzburg

    In the presence of more than 1,200 mayors, stakeholders and supporters, Federal Minister Andrä Rupprechter presented the master plan for rural areas. The Master Plan for Rural Areas is the program of a socio-political movement for a strong rural area. Austria’s rural area consists of the people who live and work in the country. For a successful future, more than ever people in the country and in the city must work actively involved.
    As the theme of the rural depopulation concerns the regions all over Europe, the IRE focuses on this topic in this year’s 13th Conference of European Regions and Cities in Salzburg: In a panel discussion, Elisabeth Köstinger (Member of the European Parliament), Thomas Stelzer (Governor of Upper Austria), Alois Steinbichler (Director General of Kommunalkredit Austria AG), Robert Thaler (Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Environment and Water Management), Gerlind Weber (University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna) and Kurt Weinberger (Director General of the Österreichische Hagelversicherung) will discuss on how to make rural regions attractive for future generations.
    “We need more opportunities for Austrian regions, we want more perspectives for people in the country”, emphasized Federal Minister Andrä Rupprechter concerning the master plan, which has emerged as the largest participation process so far in rural areas. Since the beginning of the year, more than 3,000 participants and experts from all over Austria have formulated concrete perspectives and measures for the future of rural areas. The spectrum of the strategic document ranges from digitization to decentralization, from energy development to the honorary office, from child care to culture, and from health to green care. ”The commitment within the framework of the Master Plan process shows that a new movement was initiated. Strong regions are not a matter of course, but our shared responsibility”, said the  Minister.
    Johanna Mikl-Leitner, Governor of Lower Austria, emphasized that “especially in digitization, deregulation and decentralization, there are great future opportunities for additional jobs in rural regions”. With the presentation of the Master Plan for Rural Areas, the implementation phase starts contemporaneously.  Support is provided by the former Governor of Lower Austria and IRE-Patron Erwin Pröll, who will coordinate the implementation measures as Master Plan patron.

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