The latest news from the PURPLE network
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The Three-Countries Park celebrates 20 years

Oct 27, 2021

PURPLE has been working closely with colleagues from the Euregion Maas-Rhine for a number of years now in the context of peri-urban landscape governance etc., and is very pleased to share news of their impending twentieth anniversary. To mark the occasion, the Euregio forum are holding a one-day virtual forum on 24 November 2021 featuring inputs from all four partner regions, Flanders, Wallonia, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Dutch Limburg.

Taking the severe flooding experienced in the area in July as a reference point, the event will explore the ways in which long-term cooperation, effective practical measures and accompanying exemplary projects for a borderless and climate-resilient euregional landscape might be developed. In other words how best one might move to something more systemic and strategic than a more straightforward and immediate crisis response in a cross-border territory where water is a determining element: for the climate, for biodiversity, for providing a safe living space and for economic productivity.

The afternoon will feature a nunber of more practical level workshops on various dimensions of water management in different river basins/valleys and will also see the launch of the social media campaign "my landscape".

The event will be held in German, French and Dutch as befits the nature of the trans-border partnership with details, including a finalised programme, and further details in English as well as the three other languages at: Euregionales Forum 2021 : Dreiländerpark in der Euregio Maas-Rhein (


Online registration in advance is required via the event organisers at: 






PURPLE at the European Network for Rural Development

Oct 19, 2021

PURPLE Secretary General, Vincent O'Connell, today (October 19th) took part in the 16th Steering Group meeting of the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD).

Chaired by DG AGRI, Commission officials gave an uodate on progress with the CAP Reform process during the period since trilogue sign-off back in June, and outlined areas of possible operational changes going forward, as well as outlining the currrent state of play and planned next steps for the Long Term Vision for rural Areas (Rural Vision). The latter focusing on plans for the launch of the Rural Pact and for future work on rural proofing and the establishment of a rural observatory.

There was also a presentation with the latest developmenst and plans for cluster 6 of the Horizon Europe programme and the recent eatablishment of a Soil Mission as part of the programme architecture.

Attendees were also able to hear details of future plans from the successful winners of a recent procurement exercise putting in place contracts to a) manage the ENRD Contact Point, b) manage ENRD communications and logistics and, c), to manage the next iteration of the EIP AGRI. The last of the three was successfully secured by a consortium led by PURPLE member, the Flemish Land Agency (VLM) with more detail porvided later in the meetng of their planned activities as well as details of the team responsible for delivery.

There was also a discussion around the future of the grouo itself once it is reconstituted to align with the requirments and provisions of the new CAP legislation post-transition, That cannot be affected under all secondary as well as primary legislation is in place and is likely to occur next year.

For further details, or in case of any queries, please contact:





PURPLE Input to future CoR Opinion on the Rural Vision

Oct 15, 2021

PURPLE was pleased to be able to take advantage of the chance to submit a contribution to the planned Committee of the Regions own-initiative Opinion on the Long Term Vision for Rural Areas (LTVRA).

The eight-page response was submiited to the relevant CoR administrative team with the promise that it be forwarded to Juan Manuel MORENO BONILLA, President of the Region of Andalusia, in his capacity as rapporteur for the Opinion due to be adopted in December this year.

In a background paper prepared by the NAT Commission secretariat, CoR members and others were invited to respond to a series of 13 questions as well as to points that were raised in discussion at the Commision's virtual meeting on September 27th. Members of the PURPLE Lobby Group looked at this topic based upon a meeting note prepared by the Secretary General and the response was written accordingly.

As well as pointing out the role that PURPLE had itself played in the development of the LTVRA, the paper included an annex highlighting the work done by the H2020 ROBUST project and how its findings with reagrd to rural-urban linkages and synergies need to be integrated into the LTVRA future implementation plans. The paper also set out a number of more general points with direct application to peri-urban interests in the contexts of rural and urban typologies, on strengthening the links between "rural" and "urban" areas, on rural proofing, and on the Rural Pact.

The submitted document is available on the Lobby Group section of the PURPLE website and is also available to any interested party on request: info'









ROBUST European Workshop on rural-urban governance

Oct 4, 2021

* ROBUST receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727988. 

The H2020 ROBUST project comes to its formal conclusion at the end of November 2021.

As part of its closing activities, PURPLE was co-orgainser with LUKE (The Finnish Institute for Natural Resources) and Wageningen University, of an invitation-only workshop aimed at EU, and local level stakeholders. PURPLE Secretary General, Vincent O'Connell gave a short presentation on five key principles underpinning rural-urban governance arrangements as part of the event.

Further details to follow.


* ROBUST receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727988. 

Horizon Europe and the peri-urban

Sep 11, 2021

As reported in an online news story published here in mid-June, the PURPLE Working Group is now  looking more closely at the Horizon Europe Work Programme for 2021 and 2022 and the possible opportunities for collaboration on issues of peri-urban interest.

The group returned to its deliberations when it met again on September 10th, and began the process of analysing a number of calls within clusters 5 and 6 of the programme which specifically highlight or otherwise reference the peri-urban. The group reaafirmed its commitment to actively pursue opportunties to collaborate with others stakeholders in formulating proposald with a clear peri-urban dimension as part of their design.

Subject areas highlighted in the course of discussions include:

  • Social science approaches to linking land-use and climate change planning
  • Food sharing
  • Logistics
  • Shared mobility services
  • Fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food systems 

Please contact to learn more about our discussions and planned next steps.

ROBUST* Workshop on rural-urban governance - update

Sep 11, 2021

Preparations continue in terms of developing the content and other arrangements for the experts' workshop on rural-urban governance, to take place on-line on Monday October 4th at 1.30 CET.

Attendance at this participatory workshop continues to be by invitation only with places filling fast as these are accepted by representatives of organisations from across Europe and beyond.

With three weeks to go until this half-day event takes place, and the exact programme to be finalised shortly, any queries can be addressed to:


* ROBUST receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727988.