European Council for the Village and Small Town


ECOVAST, the European Council for the Village and Small Town, was set up in 1984 to further the well- being of rural communities, and the safeguarding of the rural heritage, throughout Europe.

ECOVAST’s formal aims are:
1)  to foster the economic, social and cultural vitality and the administrative identity of rural communities  throughout Europe; and
2) to safeguard, and to promote the sensitive and imaginative renewal of, the built and natural environments of such communities.

Its objectives are: To promote the conservation and development of economic, social and cultural vitality and identity of rural communities throughout Europe, the preservation of these communities, rural buildings, natural and cultural environment of settlements.

As a campaigning organisation, ECOVAST seeks to express the concerns of its members throughout Europe to policy-makers, official bodies and others. ECOVAST has consultative status with the Council of Europe, and takes part in the regular meetings of the Council’s Rural and Environmental Interest Group. We have consultative status with the European Commission.

ECOVAST has formal working relations with many other European rural and heritage organizations and offers services at international and national level.

Currently ECOVAST consists of about 500 of its members from 20 countries in Western and Eastern Europe.

ECOVAST unites those decision-makers and activists at the local level, brings together experts and practitioners. It functions as a network providing mutual support of its members working in rural areas and between regions of different countries. His national groups or committees set up in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Britain, etc.

They focus their activities and exchange of information within the country, acting in the interests of local communities, protection and development of natural and cultural environment of rural areas and small towns, with the assistance of experts, interested people and authorities of cities and regions.

ECOVAST has consultative status with the Council of Europe, the contacts with the European Commission and many other European organizations. In three languages, published news “ECOVASTnews”, the first editions were funded by the Council of Europe and the European Cultural Foundation.

ECOVAST played an active role in the campaign of 1987-1988,. to protect the countryside in Europe. Especially strong were his positions on issues such as a protest against the program of unification of the villages in Romania, the revision of brown coal in Central Europe, etc.

ECOVAST organized a European conference on rural architecture, rural development, rural tourism and other issues. He co-founded “Euro Tour” – tourism in rural Europe, organized a group of technical assistance in the organization and development of rural tourism in Hungary and Poland, the restoration of damaged during the war memorials and create a regional park of Croatia, the revival of the villages of Romania and East Germany, etc. n.

ECOVAST published “Strategy for Rural Europe” – a political declaration in which accented significant aspects of culture that can cause changes in rural culture, emphasizes the need for resolute action to protect the welfare of its residents.





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