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Situation of rural and agricultural youth in Europe

Recommendation 776 (1976)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 27 January 1976 (21st Sitting) (see Doc. 3706, report of the Committee on Agriculture). Text adopted by the Assembly on 27 January 1976 (21st Sitting).

The Assembly,

1. Considering that both the profound changes occurring in society and the present-day difficulties of European agriculture demand, on the one hand, considerable structural changes and, on the other, an ever-increasing professional and social mobility on the part of young farmers and rural youth, as well as a greater capacity to adapt to new situations ;
2. Stressing the importance of ensuring a proper economic future for European agriculture, in order that young people retain an interest in the farming profession ;
3. Believing that the problems of rural youth should be seen in the wider context of town and country planning, with a view to ensuring a balanced distribution of socio-cultural facilities;
4. Stressing the paramount importance, in this connection, of an adequate network of rapid communications for rural areas with a view to creating new jobs in such areas, and thereby effectively encouraging rural youth to settle there ;
5. Considering that rural youth can only find its place in today's society thanks to a sound general and vocational education allowing for a true choice of a career ; 6. Stressing the importance of pre-school, school and out-of-school education for broadening the knowledge and favouring the social emancipation of rural and agricultural youth,
6. Recommends that the Committee of Ministers :
6.1 invite the governments of member states :
a to speed up the process of ratification of the Convention for the Social Protection of Farmers in order to ensure the earliest possible effective application in particular of Articles 8, 9 and 10 ;
b to encourage the regular participation of rural youth in the activities of the Council of Europe's European Youth Centre ;
6.2 promote and, where necessary, include in the work programme of its appropriate intergovernmental committees activities on problems such as :
implementation of an agricultural policy which will guarantee young farmers a fair income ;
carrying out and intensifying regional development policy designed to develop infrastructures in rural regions, so creating job possibilities ;
helping the establishment of young farmers by adopting appropriate financial aid policies ;
improving their living conditions ;
development of social and educational facilities in rural communities ;
encouragement of pre-school education ;
promotion of general education, alongside out-of-school education, as an instrument for social emancipation and encounters between rural and urban youth ;
development of vocational information and training, paying due attention to the special problems of young women in a rural environment ;
establishing a professional status of women working in agriculture, and thereby ensuring them the same social rights as women working in other professions, for instance pay during illness and pregnancies, holiday allowance, and equal rights as far as taxation and pensions are concerned ;
improvement of agricultural education curricula ;
difficulties connected with primary education in the country, such as one-teacher schools, school transport and incentives for teachers ;
transport between country and town, so as to make it easier for children to have access to different educational establishments ;
encouragement and help for the work of young farmers' associations, and for the establishment of recreational facilities ;
6.3 invite the governments of the member states, in order that the above-mentioned objectives may be realised, to contribute to the cost of training consultants to help and advise young people on their personal, family and occupational problems, as well as on the future of farming and the protection of the natural environment.