Green rural policy focusses on integrated rural development and aims to create living conditions in rural regions of a similar quality to those existing in urban areas. Our policy aims to provide people living in rural regions with good opportunities for social, economic and cultural participation which match those available in towns.
Integrated rural development
For Alliance 90/The Greens, integrated rural development means a shift away from indiscriminate handouts towards support mechanisms which recognise local potentials, create linkages between regional actors, and thus generate new ideas and impetus for the region concerned. We want to make the award of funding contingent on the production of integrated regional development plans. This approach supports a holistic vision based on the concept of community, rather than funding one-off projects which conflict with each other.
In line with the bottom-up principle, we want more financial and administrative responsibilities to be shifted to the regional level.
Strengthening regional economic cycles
Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of rural economic development, so we want to give them more support. Examples are tax law which promotes employment through a tax-free profit reserve aimed at safeguarding jobs, and better access to microloans via the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW).
We are working to ensure that farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises with a regional base can continue to profit from renewable energies. That is why we are also calling for taxes on regionally generated pure biofuels to be abolished.
Promoting organic farming
Efforts to make farming "fit for the world market", along with further intensification of agriculture, are a dead end. They not only damage the climate, the environment, nature and animal welfare; they also harm farms themselves. Very few farms will be able to withstand the downward pressure on prices in the global markets.
We want to continue the green agricultural turnaround. For many farms, the production of high-quality produce is the way forward into a secure future. The demand for locally grown organic produce has been increasing for years. Foods produced regionally under humane conditions are increasingly appreciated by consumers.
Nature: a locational advantage
The conservation of nature and the environment is important in order to protect our natural life support systems. It also creates positive impetus for regional economic development, for example through eco-tourism, or can offer an additional source of income for farming and forestry. We want to strengthen these approaches.
A family-friendly infrastructure
If we want to encourage young people and families to remain in rural areas, we must ensure that they have access to an adequate supply of basic consumer goods.
A promising approach, in this context, is the "central places" principle . This means that amenities such as public buildings and shops are sited close to each other at a convenient central location. Mobile amenities which supply people with the key services they require close to their homes must also be developed.
Options for car-free mobility must continue to be available, especially for children, young people and senior citizens. We therefore oppose the cuts in funding for bus and rail services.
Education and child care start with day nurseries that offer high-quality and dependable care at convenient times. These services are also required in rural areas. Primary schooling to Year 9 or 10 should also take place close to home. We want local comprehensive schools for all children, where learning takes place in mixed age groups, considering individual needs and capabilities.
In the health sector, we need new structures in order to safeguard adequate provision in rural areas. For example, we want to improve cooperation between health and care services. With appropriate training, carers will then be able to take over some medical tasks.
Appropriate funding mechanisms
Integrated rural development is only possible if adequate funding is provided. The existing national funding programmes must therefore be radically overhauled. We want to expand the Federal Government/Länder Joint Task for the Improvement of Agricultural Structures and Coastal Protection (GAK) into a Joint Task for Rural Regions. The exclusive focus on the agricultural sector is no longer sufficient to meet the challenges facing rural regions.