International Village Conference, Berlin, May 13-14, 2011

Via Franz Nahrada:

ERCA – the European Rural Community Association (an association of village
movements in Europe) – organises an International Village Conference in
cooperation with Rosa-Luxemburg-Foundation in 2011.
It will take place on 13th and 14th of May in the rooms of the Rosa-Luxemburg-
Foundation in Berlin.
The conference has two central aims:
First of all, experiences of the village movements from other European countries
should be introduced to Germany and will be discussed combined with similar
experiences in this country; possibly, new impulses will arise for new activities in the
German federal states.
Secondly, this will be combined with an international exchange of experiences about
practical village development; an important part of this will be the question how a
village community which became part of a bigger municipality of villages can evolve
the village and rural quality of life both independently and in cooperation with the
municipality and other villages.
Target groups of this conference are in the first place participators and institutions
which are mainly active in practical village development and networking among
villages; especially those people who act as decision makers and actors in village
associations, as chairmen or members of village councils and municipality
representatives as well as those who are economically active or work in other areas
of village life. Of course, also scientists, politicians, representatives of NGOs and
other interested people will be welcome.
The conference will be opened by statements of experts about the change and the
future of the village and the social power of village communities.

Central to the first day will be experiences of the more than 20 village movements in
Excellent representatives of these movements will demonstrate experiences on different
levels of the movements:
•    from the viewpoint of the local level: the village, the collaboration of local stakeholders
in the village community and with the municipality;
•    from the level of regional networks of villages, which mainly aim at exchange of
experiences among villages and at cooperation with other regional players and
•    from the various forms of national representation of a village movement, their role as
lobby for the villages which work towards country-wide meetings of village
stakeholders and meetings with politicians, so as so-called Rural Parliaments.

An extended discussion about the benefit and options of application of this international
experience will follow.

On the second day, four working groups will discuss about various aspects of vital
village development (more working groups are possible):
•    “Self-organisation” of the village: how local actors work together to plan the
development of their village, to make their own responsibility and civic participation?
How can local self-determination in the village and municipality participation to be
strengthened and better connected? How can the local identity of each village to be
•    Regional Networking: village and region, village and LEADER, regional exchange of
experiences between villages, the village and the world: “global” village by virtual
networking with the region and the world, the village economy and broadband;
influence of virtual networking on the change in the rural way of life?
•    Meeting the demographic changes actively: youth and village; potential of the
“elderly” for the village development, integration of newcomers.
•    Sustainable Community Development: Agricultural and alternative job opportunities
in the village economy, sustainable infrastructure, renewable energy, experience of

The conference will conclude with a panel discussion with politicians about options
for the transfer of presented experiences into reality.

Conference languages will be English and German; simultaneous translation during the
plenary sessions, consecutively in the working groups.

Participation and catering during breaks are free of charge from May 13th to 14th. Costs
for travel and lodging will not be reimbursed.

Preliminary registrations are possible and wished for from now on
([email protected]); details on the programme of the conference, the organisation
etc. will be handed over right afterwards.

For further information see:…

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