When Florence was flooded in 1966, the European Association for Rural Development Institutions (AEIAR) was being created. The only thing these two events have in common is that they are both related to territorial management.
Why was the AEIAR founded? To upgrade agricultural structures, and take measures for the development of rural areas and land protection. With about 21 members from 10 EU Member States working in the field of rural development to improve the quality of life in rural areas through integrated rural development policies. This network is officially recognised by the European Commission and is therefore member of the Advisory Group on Rural Development of the Directorate General Agriculture and Rural Development.
AEIAR members are mainly national or regional agencies (the latter are mostly German and Belgian) and exchange information on supporting farms and rural businesses on a regular basis. The both lead with the following common understanding: that soil lies at the very basis of agricultural production, and supports ecosystemic services, but at the same time it is becoming more and more scarce, under threat and it is not protected.
Farms have access to soil through market mechanisms. The speculation, the growing investments on behalf of non-agricultural capitalists, increases soil concentration and is an obstacle to young farmers’ access to land. In order to keep the family farm model in place, it is necessary to use public intervention to influence land market regulation.
This is what was concluded by the AEIAR study over 7 countries: ‘Status of agricultural land market regulation in Europe – Policies and instruments’. It is a reading we recommend as it is highly instructive and contains data and information on the development of land property in Europe.
The Italian member of AEIAR is ISMEA (Istituto di Servizi per il Mercato Agricolo Alimentare), a public body created for the purpose of providing information, insurance and finance in order to reduce risks related to market and production activities. ISMEA together with the Regions assists with land reallocations and is therefore a member of AEIAR.
Association Européenne des Institutions d’Aménagement Rural (AEIAR)
HERE the AIEAR Report, November 2016 available in FR, EN and DE