Rural areas on the national political agenda
The number one rural event of Finland’s centenary year, the Rural Parliament, was less than six months away when this was written. The arrangements for the event are in full swing. I can promise, already, that we are going to have an event that offers new perspectives and opportunities to act, on one’s own or together, for everyone interested in rural development. The three days will be full of content: trips, workshops, vivid discussions about rural images, innovation and services and, last but not least, the political aspects of rural development.
The rural policy objective is a countryside that feels good about itself, takes advantage of the available resources, and is considered as an integral part of the society and nation’s success. This is also reflected in the theme of the Rural Parliament, Making the Impossible Possible.
The Rural Parliament will construct a shared vision for the Finnish countryside and place rural opportunities high on the political agenda. This message will be taken to the policy and political forums and broader discussion after the Parliament.
On Saturday we will dwell into rural images and varying values in the discussion “Images and Margins”, moderated by Annika Damström. Later in the morning we will get “Fuel for Success”, first through world-conquering examples and, in the afternoon, in 40 different workshops. Among those who tell their own story is Kyrö Distillery.
For Sunday we have a broad array of rural policy topics. We will start the day with the Round Table for Rural Policy, moderated by Pauli Aalto-Setälä, which will talk about access to training and supply of skilled labour force in the countryside and the importance of local service solutions and how to make them possible.
We will also have parliamentary party leaders on stage. For more than an hour Janne Antikainen will be asking questions on the theme “Finland to become a world power in bioeconomy - countryside used as a resource or for storage?” The aim is to have clear answers to how the political parties intend to push forward matters that are important for the rural areas. In September the first ever county elections are almost round the corner.
Everyone is free to take part
Finland’s first Rural Policy Declaration is to be published at the Rural Parliament. Its content is currently being drafted in an extensive rural policy network, and now we ask you to share your views.
In the summer the declaration will be placed on the Otakantaa.fi website to be read and commented on by anyone who is interested. What is the countryside we want in the future like and what does it take to get it?
After the Rural Parliament the decision-makers will be informed about the declaration and its content on various political arenas, both in Finland and in the EU.
In September all roads lead to Leppävirta
The heart of the event is Leppävirta in North Savo. More than a thousand people are expected to attend the three-day event. The centre for local culture, entertainment and wellbeing, the Vesileppis Arena, serves as the Rural Parliament headquarters.
Actors from villages to towns, residents to decision-makers, entrepreneurs to civil society organisations, and researchers to developers and finances will have the opportunity to meet. The event is organised in broad cooperation, with more than 40 participating organisations.
Join us in Leppävirta to make history and leave your footprint in our national rural policy.
Together we will fulfil all the opportunities of the countryside!
See you in Leppävirta!