Project meeting for CASPER

Apr 16, 2024 | Casper_EN, News, Uncategorized

Last week, the international project meeting of the Interreg Europe project CASPER took place in France. CROST is a partner in this project from the Hungarian side, in partnership with the Somogy County Municipality.
CASPER focuses on the activation of citizens in shrinking rural areas, in order to keep people in these rural areas and facilitate attractiveness. These are ambitious goals – but we have to say that France has taken very serious and concrete steps forward in this area.

During the study tour we visited several Third Place facilities. These are places where people don’t only reside, or work, but live in communities. We visited a civil social and child welfare institution, a community centre with co-working spaces and computer services, a community building run by young people which has facilities to eat and drink, along with a children’s play area, a community space and even a garden stage.

The common feature of these spaces is that they are based on civic initiatives and most of them are run on cooperative and non-profit basis. These civil cooperatives are supported by the region (Nouvelle-Aquitane), both financially and with expertise.

It was very enlightening to see how advanced the social economy is in France and how much the French regions support these civic initiatives. It is encouraging that these grants are conditional on these initiatives also carrying out activities of demonstrable benefit to society.

There is much to be learnt from these good examples and practices in Hungary, and we hope that this international project can contribute to the development of such initiatives.