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Rural Youth Future: A new initiative aiming to improve employment opportunities for young people in rural areas

Rural Youth Future

The Rural Youth Future project, which is funded by INTERREG Europe, had its kick-off meeting on May 3rd and 4th, 2023. The Galicia Europe Foundation coordinated the meeting, which was held at the Consello Economico y Social in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. The project aims at improving employment opportunities for young people in rural areas and supporting sustainable rural development.

During the kick-off meeting the Galicia Europe Foundation, the General Directorate of Youth, Participation and Volunteer in Spain, the Association Centre for Sustainability and Economic Growth and the  Municipality of Peshtera from Bulgaria, the Smart House, Institution For Research And Sustainable Development Martjanci from Slovenia, the University of Latvia, the Association of Municipalities of Tartu County from Estonia, the Portuguese Institute of Sports and Youth, and the KMOP Policy Center ASBL from Belgium came together under a shared mission: to shape a brighter future for the vibrant young population residing in rural areas.

The meeting served as a catalyst for robust discussions on the primary challenges encountered by young individuals residing in rural areas within the seven participating countries. Partners fervently collaborated, setting the groundwork for innovative solutions and effective youth employment policies, with the ultimate goal of nurturing sustainable rural development and unlocking the untapped potential of our rural youth.

To achieve its goals, the project will address the following policy instruments: ESF+ Galicia 2021-2027 Operational Programme, in Spain, Integrated Development Plan 2021-2027 of Peshtera Municipality (IDP), in Bulgaria, Local development strategy of Local action group Goričko 2020 for the programming period 2021-2027, in Slovenia, Children, Youth, and Families Guidelines for 2021-2027, in Latvia, National Youth Plan, in Portugal, and Tartu County Development Strategy 2040, in Estonia.

Moreover, the Galicia Europa Foundation hosted on 4 May a press conference with the participation of Mr. Jesus Gamallo, Director General of Foreign Relations and Relations with the European Union and of the Galicia Europa Foundation, and Cristina Pichel, Director General of Youth, Participation, and Volunteering.

In his inaugural speech, Mr. Gamallo highlighted the importance of implementing the Rural Youth Future project. “We have 4 years of work ahead of us, personal study, analysis of the situation, search for good practices to improve and enhance youth employment and ensure quality accessible jobs for young people in our rural areas,” he said.

Moving forward, Ms. Pichel stated that “without youth people, there are no options to grow up and there is no sustainable future”, stressing thus the need to support youth in rural areas.

If you’re interested in discovering further information about our efforts to open up new possibilities and generate opportunities that will bring about a positive transformation in the lives of young people residing in rural areas, you can find us on the following social media platforms:


You can download the press release here.

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