After 4 years of European project work and accompanying organisational development by OEC, the PRO RURAL EUROPE network receives its legal personality. The aim of ProRurE is to represent the interests of the citizens of rural areas at European level.
The founding meeting, chaired by Andrea Mewaldt, took place on 11 November 2020 as a video conference due to the Covid-10 pandemic. The association ProRurE was founded according to German law and will start its work at the beginning of 2021 after registration.
The following were elected as Executive Board: The Chairman Mr. Lothar Kleipaß, International Rural Development Service, Germany as well as the two Vice Chairmen Mr. Rusin Borislavov, FAR Bulgaria and Dr. Ferenc Sándor Szakács, ProEducatione Romania. In addition, there are more 6 elected Board members.
In her introduction, Ms Mewaldt summarised the challenges of the new association as follows:
"Dear founding members, you have come together today in order to found a European network and to institutionalise it through the subsequent registration as an association. You developed the goals and tasks of the network together in the two ERASMUS+ projects, in the projects PRORURE I and II to strengthen civil society in rural areas. Together you discussed the statute of your network.
In accordance with your agreements, the network ProRurE e. V. is a community of organisations from rural areas that seeks to work for Europe and the people in the countryside. The ProRurE association will be founded today from a Christian spirit, based on the fundamental values “solidarity”, “human dignity” “subsidiarity”, “sustainability” and “responsibility”.
The members of ProRuRE e.V. have accepted the responsibility to carry the idea of a common Europe into their own movements and organisations.
As you have already discovered in the two projects, the point in the ProRurE network is to share and learn from one another, and in this way to strengthen every individual organisation. The different cultures in Europe can be experienced directly by cooperating with citizens from different countries. Through the exchange, mutual understanding grows about how similar, and in some cases different, the challenges of the rural areas in the individual countries are.
A network does not take on the tasks of its member organisations. The ProRure association works on the basis of subsidiarity, i.e. it only takes on the tasks that the individual members alone cannot manage. Above all, the ProRurE association is about combining skills and resources with the aim of taking an active part, at the European level, in policy-making processes that affect the people in the rural areas. In order to achieve the weight necessary for that, and to reflect the diversity of Europe, the European network ProRurE e.V. must grow more in the next few years. It will gain organisations from other countries and always remain open to more partners who want to commit themselves to serve the same cause.
Already I wish you all enjoyment and success for these self-chosen tasks, and also the necessary patience and stamina so that your project is successful and sustainable.”