In his intervention, Guillaume Cros stressed that European territories base their development strategy on their specific needs, some being more urban, others more rural and most being mixed. "The key point is that we must not put urban and rural areas in an opposition, but promote policies that are complementary and develop their specific strengths, thereby giving concrete meaning to solidarity" he said, urging also for a swift implementation of the so-called rural test, proposed in the Cork 2.0 Declaration on Rural Development adopted in September 2016, in order not to leave space for Eurosceptic voices.
"Europe urgently needs to come up with a rural agenda for the programming period post 2020, which takes into consideration employment, the environment, climate change, agriculture, and innovation aspects" he urged, reminding the joint-call made by the CoR NAT commission and the European Parliament's Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development at their November 2016 meeting.
Providing as a good example the FOSTER programme (a financial instrument set up in his own region with the help of the European rural development funds and funds from the region, aimed at supporting entrepreneurs and farmers), he called for "rethinking the future CAP in a more integrated way, in particularly with regard to funding provided under the first pillar and greening."
Last but not least, he stressed the need for better coherence between EU policies, also through administrative simplification.