Project Details

Title: Cooperatives of Employment and Services in Rural areas
Priority: 1: Innovation and the knowledge economy
Theme: Employment, human capital and education

Type of intervention

Type of intervention: 1: Regional Initiative Project
Mini-programme: No
Duration: 1st Jan 2012 - 31st Dec 2014
Website: http://www.cesr-project.eu


Total budget: €1,378,280.00
ERDF contribution: €1,109,067.40

Lead partner

Regional Committee for Tourism Development of Auvergne
Parc Technologique La Pardieu, 7 Allée Pierre de Fermat, CS 50502
63178, Aubière Cedex

  • Click for contact details
    • Contact Person: Thomas Ducloutrier
      Phone: +33(0)4 73 29 49 40
      Fax: +33(0)4 73 34 11 11

Project summary

The CesR project involves 8 partners from all over Europe. These public authorities or development agencies from old or recent Member States of the EU are in charge of rural regions and share common problematics, in particular in the rural services sector: How to create or reinforce sustainable employment, so that people in sparsely populated areas can live on their work and stay in their areas ?


In the context of population ageing, rural public authorities encounter difficulties in providing services to the elderly or disabled population (on-demand transportation, personal care aid, meal on wheels…). Even if the demand is increasing, it is still not enough to reach the critical mass which would allow employing people on a full time basis.

Consequently, employment in the services sector in rural areas is mostly precarious. It is difficult for people to live on their activity. As a result, people leave the area, which may contribute to the closure of school and public services.

Breaking this visious circle is not an easy task, but it is crucial for the partners regions.


The services sector is not only composed by the home care services. The tourist economy is a big provider of services as well, but the potential in that field seems to be underexploited. In the self-catering accommodation sector in particular, a wide range of services can be implemented and offered to the customers.


This underexploited potential is important, as the tourist demand and the inhabitants needs could, together, reach the critical mass needed to offer secure, full-time jobs in our rural areas.


Regional and local authorities have a key role to play on these issues, as some of them are direct providers of home care services, or in capacity of implementing incentive policies encouraging other public and private bodies to create services and employment.

By exchanging their successful experiences in the fields of care services, tourist services and jobs sharing, CesR partners intend not to reinvent the wheel but transfer good policies from one region to another.


After analysing the existing policies in the involved regions, partners will identify the best of these policies and practices and evaluate their transferable character. The essentials of these policies and methods for transfer will be gathered in a handbook available online on the project website, and sent to local and regional policy makers in the 8 regions involved, but also to thematic national & European networks. This handbook will be a decision making tool for future policies.


All along CesR implementation, partners commit themselves to communicate widely on the project's results, through a website, interregional conferences and a newsletter, so that other public authorities and regions in Europe can benefit as much as possible from the CesR project and its results.

Project achievements

The CesR project involves 8 public authorities, universities and development agencies sharing common challenges to the rural services sector. They aim to develop policy instruments to create or reinforce sustainable employment, so that people in sparsely populated areas can make a living from their work and stay in their home areas. The CesR project enables its contributors to exchange experience in the sectors of care services, tourist services and job sharing. CesR partners intend to help develop the neglected market of tourist services in selfcatering

holiday homes. Inhouse services are underdeveloped in this specific kind of tourist accommodation. But examples in Europe demonstrate that the demand exists. At the same time, a skilled but underemployed human resource is available in rural areas, and parttime & precarious contracts prevail in the sector of homecare services. CesR partners have to identify and promote easy solutions to help accommodation owners find and employ the

relevant people, for example by sharing working time with other tourist businesses and homecare services companies. The project started with the kick off meeting in Auvergne (France) in March 2012, when it was presented to 46 policy makers and tourist stake holders. Partners prepared guidelines and templates to produce a detailed analysis of the situation in all involved regions regarding the sector of the services, and tourist services in self catering holiday houses in particular. In June, all project partners went to Gozo (Malta) to meet stake holders involved in these fields. Among the various meetings organized, the Baron Group Malta was the most relevant. This example shows that there is a market for additional services in self catering accommodation, which represents many job creations. This business illustrates what CesR partners could try and support in the future. In September, partners met in Cork County for a 2nd study trip. An interesting business model was presented: the

joint management of a hotel and self catering apartments. This system allows the owner to provide services to the customers of self catering apartments thanks to the human resource available in the hotel. In December, CesR partners joined the study trip organized by the Troodos Development Company.The most outstanding initiative was the Casale Panayiotis hotel. This company manages, under one unique brand, bedrooms belonging to different owners, and can propose tourist services which could not be provided by all owners separately. In April 2013, all partners met in Auvergne where a few systems of jobs sharing were presented, as well as a selfcatering accommodation network, Accueil Paysan, which has an original approach regarding services. In June, the region of Olomouc also presented various business models to the CesR partners. Two additional study trips took place in 2013 in Latvia, where various clusters and networks were presented, and in Spain (Granada area), where CesR partners

learnt about the Spanish system of labour societies. In 2014, CesR partners went to Slovenia in April, where they heard about interesting initiatives like the Pomelaj social cooperative, which focuses on preserving and promoting rural activities which can help to maintain population in the countryside. In the Malopolska region (Poland) in June, the Haven cooperative raised the interest of the CesR team, as this company manages a tourist accommodation and provides services to the community at the same time. CesR partners do their best to inform the public about the results of the project. 7 conferences were organized in this purpose, including the final conference held in Brussels during the Open Days in October 2014. A brochure about the project was also prepared, and a dedicated website is regularly updated: www.cesrproject.eu. All conclusions of the project are available in a technical handbook published in 8 langages and available online on the project's website.


Institution, Town Country Region Contact details
Regional Committee for Tourism Development of Auvergne, Aubière Cedex FRANCE Auvergne +33(0)4 73 29 49 40
Olomouc region, Olomouc CZECH REPUBLIC Stredni Morava + 420 585 508 436
Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization - Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw POLAND Mazowieckie +48 22 697 88 41
TROODOS DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, Eyrichou, Nicosia CYPRUS Kypros / Kibris 00 357 22 952043
County Council of Granada, Granada SPAIN Andalucía +34 958 804947
University of Latvia, Centre for European and Transition Studies, Riga LATVIA Latvija +371 29417214
Regional Development Agency Mura Ltd., Murska Sobota SLOVENIA Vzhodna Slovenija + 386 (02) 536 14 61
Cork County Council, Cork IRELAND Southern and Eastern 00 353 21 4276891


As of 31 December 2015, this website is no longer updated. Follow news on interregional cooperation at www.interregeurope.eu