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The Event

To Mobilize for the Future

Every two years, the European Association for Rural Development and Village Renewal bestows the European village renewal award (Europäischer Dorferneuerungspreis). In 2010, the winner of this price was the village of Langenegg in the state of Vorarlberg, Austria. This year, Langenegg serves as the scene for the 2012 price-giving ceremony of the European village renewal award. Since many initiatives in rural communities of Europe, as in the state of Vorarlberg, are supported by funds of the EU programme LEADER, the idea was to make use of this occasion: The international forum on the topic of the contest “tracing the future” (Der Zukunft auf der Spur) is supposed to create an informative setting on this topic.  Its purpose is to highlight the development and model function of rural and regional initiatives as well as of the communities and LEADER regions. Furthermore, the international forum provides the chance to make people aware of these initiatives and to mobilize for local citizens’ engagement.

Active Participation

With this event, the state of Vorarlberg and the Regionalentwicklung Vorarlberg together with the ARGE (European Association for Rural Development and Village Renewal) have the objective to set an example for different topics of rural development.
The guests are directly involved in the configuration of the programme.  The aim is to create an attractive and affordable event that includes many common activities. The guests are invited to present themselves, their village or their region at the “market place of initiatives” (Marktplatz der Initiativen). They can bring illustrative material or provide culinary delicacies or folklore.

Due to this programme, it is possible to create an intense exchange of experiences between villages and regions. On the one hand, villages and regions throughout Europe are brought closer to each other. On the other hand, the event enables them to launch strong discussions on topics concerning the future. With this event, perspectives for further development are highlighted. Furthermore, the event serves as an input for the configuration of coming programmes on regional development.

Moreover, the best-practice-examples of regional development works are supposed to encourage citizens to become local actors of collaborative projects. Both LEADER projects and projects of village renewal are presented to the guests. They provide know-how and accommodate for the European interchange of ideas as well as new ideas – and all that in a sociable ambience.

Surplus value of the event

  1. The subject-specific forum and the presentation of best-practice-examples provide the participants plenty of space to find approaches to solutions on issues concerning the topic “tracing the future”. The results are recorded and can deploy for the elaboration of regional programmes.
  2. The market place “Experience Europe” (Europa erleben) expedites the encounter between regions and creates new junctions and new cooperation between the actors.
  3. During the whole event, participants use a regional currence called “Talente”.  Trading with this kind of money indicates relevance of regional economic circles.
  4. Each group of guests has one citizen of Langenegg who serves as a contact person and who accompanies the group during the event.