Initiator of the pilot project and one of the promoters of the preparatory actions Socialist MEP (S&D) Tibor Szany and Slovenian MEP (EPP) Franc Bogovič opened the European Parliament’s exhibition on European smart villages with European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan, Minister-Counselor of the United States Department of Agriculture Bruce Zanin, Secretary General of Copa Cogeca Pekka Pesonen and CEO of SolarPower Europe Walburga Hemetsberger. Apart from many other fields, the program promotes the digitization of agriculture, the use of solar energy and social mobility.
This week's exhibition in the European Parliament presents projects and initiatives related to the 'smart villages' program on digitization, mobility and job creation that build on the strengths and assets of rural areas. The term "smart villages" now appears in European documents defining the common agricultural policy of the future, with its projected role in the next financial cycle. However, in his opening speech, the deputy chairman of the Socialists also underlined: "The future of 'smart villages' largely depends on establishing a stable body responsible for strategic planning and other program prerequisites.”
“Smart villages” are rural areas and communities that build on their existing strengths and assets, but also new opportunities. In their case, both traditional and new networks and services are reinforced by digital, telecommunication technologies, innovation and better use of knowledge.
The exhibition opened today was preceded by a professional conference on 21-22 February 2019 to examine the results of the "smart eco-social villages" pilot project and the future of the "smart villages" program. Tibor Szanyi presented six basic elements of the "smart villages" initiative at this conference:
● wide range digital infrastructure;
● community initiative and planning;
● involvement of agents and experts;
● integrated support;
● and inter-institutional strategy.