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90 rural projects supported in Mediterranean area

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Philoxenia Plus Details

philoxenia plus1

PHILOXENIA PLUS, approved project

In the framework of the 1st call of proposals of capitalization of MED program in 2012 and financed by ERDF.


Rural areas are experiencing demographic recomposition remarkable linked to positive net migration. If this trend remains to be qualified according to the European regions, it requires a clear and proactive support from local actors not to undergo negative constraints sometimes extremely strong related to globalization and financialization of the economy, climate changes, food and energy issues.

Some European territories have built an innovative and experimental their own development strategies aiming to:

– Host and maintain new inhabitants  (bringing new skills).

– Promote local products (increasing value of local and intangible products).

To continue the deployment of such local development policies, the need is now to better capitalize and share experiences of actors from different networks.

  1. : 18 Months, BUDGET of the project: 831.000 Euros, Co-financing by ERDF : 645 250Euros (77,64%), National financing : 185 750 Euros.

ISSUES of the project:

–  Preparing the 2014-2020 programming period;

– Recognizing the welcome and maintaining of populations as a response to the operational objectives of social and territorial cohesion brought by Europe.


To capitalize on the experiences of Philoxeniaplus partners for a better methods and best practices transfer:

 Allowing enrichment and methodological support to the further professionalization of local stakeholders and the efficiency of territorial strategies;

 Facilitating and encouraging the emergence of new economic activities, innovation and performance in terms of tools and approaches for the welcoming of new active people and new populations and the promotion of local products in order to ensure sustainable development.


 Providing methodological resources to the local stakeholders in engineering welcoming policies and promotion of local products;

 Creating opportunities to meet and witness with actors who experienced good practices in support of candidates accompanying, building and promoting opportunities for installation, promotion of local products

Transfer of seven best practices from nine projects:

– Come-back of the native (IVB experience PHILOXENIA MED)

– Installation of new inhabitants (experience SOHO SOLO-IIIB SUDOE)

– Promotion of territory endogenous resources (experience One Village-One Product project GRISI PLUS IVC and IVB project MEDSTRATEGY MED) including three different good practices.

Two ICT tools to transfer:

– GIS portal promoting local villages and local products

– A national portal about the installation in rural area and a consultation center for local stakeholder.

 Thinking collectively to develop methods and practices for the emergence and / or development of local development policies aiming to welcoming populations and promotion of local products (methodological guide).

 Thinking and produce collectively tracks for innovation and experimentation of tools and strategies to promote local products, marketing, integration of new active people and new populations by assessing the relevance of the transferability of the five projects and ICT tools.

 Facilitating and supporting the sustainable network by including within the time schedule some highlighted events (seminars), exchange of information…


 Drafting the general principles of a charter for an European Association aiming to promote the welcoming and attractiveness policies; Becoming a proactive ness strength  in the framework of the ‘Europe 2020’.

  1. PARTNERSHIP : 7partners
  2. Leader : Local Employability (LOC.EM.),

E-ZAVOD (Slovinia)

ANETEL (Chyprus)

Eurokom Association, Gerace, (Italy)

Province de TERUELRégion Aragon (Spain)

Collectif Ville Campagne (France)

CCI Gers (France)

9 External partners  

Local Development Agency of Drama, Greece

Sinergija, Slovinia

Technical Training Cyprus

Diogenes Business Incubator University of Cyprus

Associazione Intercomunale « Comuni della Locride », Italia

Shire Community of Teruel, Spain

Communauté de Communes Aubusson-Felletin, France

Pays Gorges-Causses-Cévennes, France

Communauté de Communes Pays Viganais, France


1. Creation of an European association for the promotion of attractiveness and welcoming policies in rural areas

2. Identification of key stakeholders (potential members of a European association)

3. Reviews of best practices and feasibility studies of transfer

4. Action plans to transfer

5. Methodological guide

6. Charter for the creation and management of a European association (legal status)

7. Recommendation for integrating welcoming policies under the Europe 2020 strategy.

The project Philoxenia in brief

Project MED 2007-2013 / Philoxenia
Implementation of a common operational mechanism
for the reception of activities in mediterranean rural areas

Partenaires Philoxenia
The partners of Philoxenia project
during the kick-off meeting in Lithotopos, Greece (14/03/2009)

For three years, from April 2009 to March 2012, the project Philoxenia foresees the financial, technical and cultural support of 90 persons, 54 female and 36 male, wishing to install themselves in the target zones to create their own micro-projects and also to contribute to the vitality of these rural territories.

Weakened by demographic decline, the rural Mediterranean municipalities of the project Philoxenia are increasingly confronted with a diminution of services and commercial enterprises, or even with a loss of their identity. However, the promotion of mobility and of the information and communication technologies (ICT), the concern for a sustainable development and the search for a better quality of life in view of the urban nuisances permits these rural territories to inverse the tendency above and to find new ways of local development. The architectural, cultural and environmental heritage and the space at their disposal are indeed new factors of attractivity.

In this actual environment which is taking shape, the six project partners propose in the territories implicated the implementation of a Common Operational Mechanism of reception of activities in Mediterranean rural areas (Philoxenia).

The target zones of the project Philoxenia :

  • Kerkini – Petritsi – Iraclia, Greece
  • Province of Oristano, Sardinia, Italy
  • Voroklini Larnaca, Cyprus
  • Ptuj, Slovenia
  • Malta – Gozo.

This project is inspired by the French experience of Collectif Ville Campagne.

The views expressed on this website do not express official views and statements of the European Commission or the Management Authority of the programme Med, but only the views of its creators and partners of the project.

Sixth issue – March 2012

Sixth issue – March 2012 :   EN

  • Fourteen new entrepreneurial testimonies from the Mediterranean countryside.
  • The DVD of good practices of Philoxenia project.
  • Lithotopos (Greece) : the partners of Philoxenia project on the final stretch.
  • Paris (France) : participation in the fifth exposition of the « Projects in the Countryside » (Projets en campagne).
  • Marseilles (France) : the partners of Philoxenia project took part in the capitalisation event.
  • The continuation of Philoxenia : the project Grisi Plus.

Fifth issue – September 2011

Fifth issue – September 2011 : EN

  • The tutoring services match the public offer of project Philoxenia and the private demand.
  • Rome (Italy) : Philoxenia project partners joined capitalisation seminar.
  • Sixteen entrepreneurial testimonies from the Mediterranean countryside.
  • Voroklini (Cyprus) : the evolution of Philoxenia project in the fifth meeting of partners.
  • Telephone interview with the general coordinator by the Centro Studi di Politica Internazionale, Rome.

Fourth issue – March 2011

Fourth issue – March 2011 : EN

  • Malta : advancements of the project Philoxenia in the target zone.
  • Ptuj (Slovenia) : great expansion of Philoxenia project activities.
  • Oristano (Italy) : thirteen applications to create enterprises.
  • Progress of the project in the fourth meeting of the partners.
  • Thessaloniki (Greece) : participation of Philoxenia project in the MED project exhibition.
  • First solid basis for a European association for welcoming.

Third issue – September 2010

Third issue – September 2010 :  EN

  • Kerkini – Petritsi – Iraclia (Greece) : first applications for installation.
  • Oristano (Italy) : the latest advancement of the project Philoxenia.
  • Larnaca (Cyprus) : we are ready to welcome you !
  • Malta : the Bank of Valletta supporting the project Philoxenia.
  • 22–23 March 2010 – Attard – Malta : third meeting of the partners of the project Philoxenia.
  • 19–21 May 2010 – Lithotopos – Greece : meeting of the welcoming policy managers of the project.
  • 16–18 June 2010 – Clermont-Ferrand – France : third European Summer University for the Reception of New Inhabitants.

Second issue – March 2010

Second issue – March 2010 :  EN

  • 27–28 September 2009 – Oristano : second meeting of the partners.
  • The project Philoxenia becomes known !
  • 2nd October 2009 – Brussels : meeting for welcoming policies in rural areas.
  • City – countryside relations : how to better anticipate future migrations ?
  • Creation of a European association for welcoming in rural areas in 2010.
  • Article on the project Philoxenia in the Newsletter of the MED programme.
  • Tribute to the project Philoxenia by the French magazine L’Esprit Village.
  • The tools of the project Philoxenia are ready.

First issue – September 2009

First issue – September 2009 :  EN

  • Kick-off meeting : what the partners of Philoxenia said to the media.
  • Echoes of the project to the media.
  • Interview with general coordinator.
  • The Partnership Chart of the project Philoxenia.
  • COM : a new mechanism for the reception of activities in Mediterranean space.
  • Common Integrated Communications Strategy : the « tools » of Philoxenia for informing the public.
  • Quick facts of the project Philoxenia.

Description of the project

This proposition (2003/ 055 – 435), which was submitted in September 2002 within the framework of the pilot
community programme « Employment  Initiatives and Social cultural matters in the regions of the European
Union that border with candidate countries » (budget line B5-3003), approved by the Directorate General of Enlargement of the European Commission in March 2003.

Target groups  :

  • Pilot region of work :
    The greater boundary area of the 2 departments of Serres (200.561 inhabitants, expanse  : 3.968 km2) and Drama (103.763 inhabitants, expanse : 3.468 km2),  bordering with Bulgaria and the Bulgarian region of  Petritch,

    – Gotse Deltchev  – Blagoevgrad.

  • Sectors: In order to manage the work in a region of employment development, a global approach to the rural area is required. It is worth mentioning that the artisans, the tradesmen and the areas of services, only present in certain projects are not present in an organized fashion. This presents a handicap for the future development of rural regions (such as ours) and a weakness for a new agricultural orientation that foresees the co-operation of non-agrarians in the speculation of this agricultural world, provokes the «hibernation» of dozens of possible professions, hundreds of prospective small enterprise activities and a variety of surfacing
    proximity services for the citizens

  • Beneficiaries: individuals (men, women, handicapped), local enterprises (the directors) and the unfavourable border regions (local authorities) that constitute their competivity levels and who will be helped by the project in order to face the economic and social changes resulting from the enlargement into Bulgaria.

Regions : Central Macedonia, Eastern Macedonia & Thrace.

Description of the project :

Realization of a Local Intervention for the Future of Employment and Social cultural development in our border region, in order to reinforce its competitiveness and its economic sector that will be impacted by the enlargement of Europe into Bulgaria. In particular, we commence as a rule with 3 elements or 3 « common factors » : the individual, the local enterprise and our unfavourable border region (the 2 Departments of Serres and Drama which border with Bulgaria). The said factors will be accompanied by : equal opportunities between men and women, the development of proximity financing, the cross border mobility of work, cross border activities of cross cultural understanding with Bulgaria and with the contribution of Information Technology and Communication (ITC). Covering the Communication of the European Union (437 final) in relation to the impact of the enlargement into areas which border with candidate countries (Bulgaria in this case) but also with the 4 pillars of the European strategy for employment as well as the Greek National Action Project for Employment 2002.

Budget :

Total cost of theproject

1.231.046,63 €

Contribution approved by the European Commission


Amount of partners’ contribution to the project


Amount of the contribution approved in % of the total cost of the project

80 %

Objectives of the project :

To reinforce the competitiveness of the Departments of Serres and Drama and their  economic sectors (general objective) that are in danger of being affected negatively by the enlargement into Bulgaria and by the free mobility of Bulgarian workers and employees (40% cheaper than their Greek counterparts) already representing 6,7% of immigrants working in Greece; strengthening and socio-economic incorporation of the said area with the neighbouring region of Bulgaria   (specific objective). Why ? To lighten the burden of the enlargement and to make the most of the opportunities being offered.

Principal activities of the project :

How and by what means will our objectives be achieved ? By the application of a Local Intervention for the Future of Employment and Socio-Cultural Development of this Euro-zone (ensemble of cohesive activities). The Local approach (medium) already has a recognized place and fully participates in the resolution of problems of competivity, of migration, of unemployment, local fears and anxieties and also social cultural difficulties; particularly in border regions «that are overlooked on average by the E.U. in the fields of infrastructure  and economic reconstruction”. This is particularly the case in all the Greek border regions (including our own) that are considered by the Communication 437/2001 of the E.U. “the least favourable”, “presenting also a relatively high percent of employment in the primary sector”. Thus our zone has low competitiveness, is already in a critical situation which is at risk of being considerably aggravated : by the revision of the Common Agricultural Policy (C.A.P.) as well as by the reform of the Common Fishing Policy (C.F.P.) that approach and supply an economic decline and an evident local anxiety of the negative impact of the enlargement into Bulgaria.

The expected results of the project :

a) Improvement of the channels of information for the local public, to inform the local population and to develop their knowledge for the economic and social changes as well as for the positive impacts of the free mobility of persons on the local economy and culture, impacts of a strategic cross border co-operation with Bulgaria in an enlarged Europe.

b) Incorporation of today’s misinterpreted vocational training parameter by the use of ITC : To augment the employability of workers and employees, and as a motivating lever of incorporation for the unemployed and his return to the job market.

c) Adaptation of the accompaniment of the structures of formation of the social groups, affected by the enlargement (adaptability of the individuals).

d) Putting in place new sectors (in hibernation) of business development for men and women (equal opportunities – gender dimension).

e) Development of new business models (promotion of a business spirit).

f) Development of new tools corresponding to the consequent change of course in the main outlook of local businesses in relation to the vocational training and the credit organizations (adaptability of businesses).

g) Formation of a new businessman and business profile in the face of the rapid advancement of the market and the enlargement.

h) Publication and multiplication of the results of our project and their integration into the applied politics at national and community level for the consolidation of peace and prevention of conflict.

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