Rural brain drain: How can the Cohesion Policy help reverse the trend?21 June, 2022 - 10:00 am - 21 June, 2022 - 12:00 pm
Brain drain of young people and ageing population are two critical problems in rural and mountainous areas. As evidenced by a 2022 study done by Euromontana, 66% of mountain youth would like to remain in mountains but the lack of employment opportunities and dynamism as the main reasons for them to consider leaving. As result, the average age of mountain populations is higher than in other territories, with 4 out of the 6 top ageing regions in Europe being mountainous regions.
2022 was declared European Year of Youth by the European Commission, and International Year of the Sustainable Mountain Development by the United Nations. This conjunction of international pledges raises the question of how European policies, and in particular the 2021-2027 Cohesion Policy and the Next Generation EU, address the needs of youth in marginal areas, such as mountains. Are these policies ambitious enough to live up to the challenges faced by mountain areas and offer mountain youth the same opportunities as in other regions of Europe?
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