A multi-national, inter-disciplinary team of university teachers, researchers and consultants of rural development worked together for 3 years in the Euracademy project with the central aim to promote in a real, practical and substantial way the sustainable development processes in rural areas.
They developed and piloted with great success two educational packages including Summer Academies, Distance Learning courses and publications.
In this context, the project partners have decided to formally establish a non-profit membership organisation to take forward and expand the philosophy and activities of the project.
The Euracademy Association was formally launched during the end-of-project conference in November 2003 in Hungary.
The core vision of the Euracademy Association is to promote capacity building in rural areas and mobilise animators and managers of rural development by offering them the opportunity to improve their skills, widen their experience, expand their professional qualifications, starting a personal itinerary of lifelong learning and providing ample space for networking and cooperation in the framework of European projects.
The Euracademy Association aims to provide a mix of different “learning resources” to the learner, via the internet, manuals, face-to-face learning in Summer Academies, practical work and networking.
Organise seminars, conferences and exhibitions addressing issues relating to capacity building and sustainable rural development.
Undertake research and studies on sustainable rural development issues, with a view of building up a body of knowledge on this theme.
Take a practical work on account of, or in collaboration with, national and international organisations, including the European Commission.
Influence the process of sustainable rural development at this crucial moment of the substantial enlargement of the European Union.
Fouli Papageorgiou is the Managing Director and Partner of PRISMA Centre for Development Studies, based in Athens. She is a qualified architect since 1969, and holds a PhD in Urban and Regional Studies from the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, University of Birmingham, UK. She has been a University teacher and researcher from 1970 to 1985 in the Technical University of Athens, School of Architecture, and in the Universities of Aston in Birmingham, Leeds and Edinburgh in the UK. She worked in the Economic Office of the Prime Minister of Greece between 1985 and 1989 as a special advisor for quality of life and environmental policy. Through her current position she has been involved in a large number of integrated local development studies, structure plans and regional plans, mostly in rural areas. She has also accumulated substantial experience on management and evaluation of EU Programmes and Initiatives and on transnational coordination of EU projects. She is a member and ex-President of ECOVAST, the European Council for the Village and Small Town.
Iren Kukorelli is a scientific advisor at the Institute for Regional Studies, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She has a PhD in Geography, and a DSc (Doctor of Science). Her main areas of interest are in the Regional Sciences, such as regional and urban economics, meoctor thods of regional economics, rural development and management, and developing integrated strategies for rural territories. She has extensive experience in the coordination of transnational European projects. She is the professor of geography teaching at Széchenyi István University in Győr. She has more than 100 publications in the Hungarian and English languages. She is one of the founders of Euracademy Association. She was previously the Secretary-General of the association, later the President, now is currently the Vice-President.