|How to make our rural areas more attractive, vibrant and dynamic? Rural areas provide us with our food, homes, jobs, and essential ecosystem services. But we need to further boost the development of rural areas by implementing the Smart Villages concept, which responds to the challenges of abandonment and the aging population of rural areas, as well as the growing digital divide between rural and urban areas.
The conference will provide answers on how the Long Term Vision for Rural Areas, recently proposed by the European Commission, will mobilise public authorities and stakeholders to act on the needs and aspirations of rural residents.
The International conference: SMART VILLAGES FOR A GREEN, DIGITAL AND RESILIENT EUROPE is also one of the official high level events of Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Prominent distinguished speakers from the European Parliament, European Commission, European Committee of the Regions, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and the Government of the Republic of Slovenia at, among other speakers from different global, EU and Slovenian organisations, as well as international companies, will be the following:
Franc Bogovič, Member of the European Parliament (EPP, Slovenia)
Jože Podgoršek PhD, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development, Government of the Republic of Slovenia
Dubravka Šuica, Vice-President of the European Commission and European Commissioner for Democracy and Demography
Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Apostolos Tzitzikostas, President of the European Committee of the Regions
Elsi Katainen, Member of the European Parliament (Renew Europe, Finland)
Zvone Černač, Minister for Development and EU Cohesion Policy, Government of the Republic of Slovenia
Janez Cigler Kralj, Minister of Labor, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Government of the Republic of Slovenia
Jernej Vrtovec, Minister of Infrastructure of the Republic of Slovenia, Government of the Republic of Slovenia.
09:00 to 12:30: MORNING PLENARY SESSION (moderated by Bernarda Žarn)
09:00 to 09:45: Introductory video clip and introductions
09:45 to 12:15: “Political” panel: Smart villages in the EU and Slovenia: A policy perspective on development European rural areas in the age of digitalisation (moderated by Tjaša Božič)
Roundtable discussion with ministers of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, Members of the European Parliament, representative of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and members of the European Committee of the Regions:
● Dr. Ivan Žagar, Head of the Slovenian Delegation to the European Committee of Regions
● Zvone Černač, Minister, Office of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia for Development and Cohesion Policy
● Janez Cigler Kralj, Minister of Labor, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Government of the Republic of Slovenia
● Jernej Vrtovec, Minister of Infrastructure of the Republic of Slovenia, Government of the Republic of Slovenia
● Elsi Katainen, Member of the European Parliament, RE (Finland)
● Marijana Petir, Member of the Croatian Parliament, Chairwomen of the Committee for Agriculture
● Goran Šoster, DRSP, Local Action Groups
Discussion among all participating speakers, which also includes Franc Bogovič, minister Podgoršek & and EC vice-president Šuica (30 minutes)
Q&A with the audience (30 minutes)
Moderator’s conclusions (5 minutes)
12:30 to 14:00: LUNCH BREAK
14:00 to 16:00: PROFESSIONAL PANEL – Smart Villages in the EU and Slovenia
Examples of good practices in the field of digitalization in various economic and social sectors
16.00 to 16.15: CONCLUSIONS (by Franc Bogovič)
You may find a more detailed programme here.
The conference will be held in hybrid format. More information is available here.