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We have a duty to share our European dream with our fellow citizens, sharing values of respect for human dignity, the rule of law, freedom, equality, solidarity and responsibility.

It is time for Democrats to take the lead.

The Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) forgets to take into account people in rural areas

Engin Eroglu

I am very frustrated by the latest publications of the EU Commission concerning the Recovery Fund. The EU is taking on joint debts of 750 billion euros, and rural areas receive only one percent of the funding, even though people in rural areas are hit especially hard by the pandemic, both economically and socially, and, therefore are among those most in need of investments and funding.

It's the old song. The majority of elected politicians come from cities and they only consider their own constituencies in their policies. They steadily neglect rural areas and thus cheaply accept a rural exodus, which ultimately also leads to the increasing clogging of our urban centres with the well-known consequences of exploding rents, overcrowded schools, hospitals, streets, etc.

The people in rural areas feel left behind, ignored by politicians, and become politically radicalized. Brexit is the leading example of this. In major British cities, the majority of the urban population voted against leaving the EU, while the countryside showed major disapproval with the European Union and its lack of consideration for the rural areas.

It's time we realize that the future of the EU is made in the rural areas!

Against this background, it is particularly frustrating to hear that the European Commission has earmarked only 1% of the RRF for rural support, even though rural areas and SMEs in these areas are hit especially hard economically and socially by the consequences of the global pandemic. This imbalance has to be urgently balanced out in the distribution of aid funds within the member states and the federal states and regions. Now is the time to act in our 27 capitals. Europe must be felt in all our regions!

Engin Eroglu
Freie Wähler MEP