Future Countryside: Strengthening the structurally poor regions on the Czech-German borders

October 7, 2016, Prague

Czech Minister of Agriculture Marián Jurečka and German Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture Christian Schmidt spoke on Friday, October 7, 2016 about the current situation and future development of the rural regions in the Czech-German border areas.

Germany’s rural regions face major challenges as a result of changing demographics. The Czech Republic has struggled for years with socially dislocated regions, particularly with poor regions that lack infrastructure along its shared border with Germany. 

The government’s agricultural policies must be more responsive to the needs of rural areas. Producer concerns for input costs and sale prices are important issues; however, modern infrastructure and regulatory standards are needed to support the growth of these regions. The speakers agreed that there is much to be improved in rural regions, with many common and regionally specific challenges to be addressed. The Czech Ministry of Agriculture must prioritize quality of life in rural regions, which includes access to education, healthcare and infrastructure. A coordinated approach, between the Ministry of Agriculture, other government ministries and relevant states ministries in neighboring regions, is required to address this complex issue. 

The Czech-German Discussion Forum that organized the Round Table in cooperation with the Forum 2000 Foundation was established in 1997 based on the Czech-German Declaration. Its goal is to support dialogue between Czech and German citizens in order to foster and connect individuals who are passionate about positive neighborhood relationships and partnerships.