This last debate is always an uphill battle against drowsiness. Everyone is overworked and underhydrated. The temperature in this room has now exceeded "comfortably warm" and is rising quickly from "tropical vacation" to "premature cremation". Ah well. On we go.
The first attack speech goes to AFCO. Sonia doubts the possibility of drawing tourists to rural areas, since even the local young people flee towards the city. Next is Veerle from INTA. She paints a bleak theoretical future, in which everyone lives in cities separated by vast empty land. She clearly agrees with the problems AGRI has identified, but urges the proposing committee to take a different route towards solving them.
The open debate starts with a discussion on how to attract tourists to rural areas - maybe by building homes, restaurants etc? Marije makes the point that building attractions turns a rural area into a city, which defeats the purpose of preservation. Floris adds an environmental take to the debate. IMCO's Rutger wants to speak for a minute about Sami's attack speech: changing education means leaving part of traditional education out. Gizella from LIBE does not see a way to draw start-ups to rural areas. Katia from EMPL wonders why the proposing committee has not accounted for differences between the infrastructures of the member states. Lara from AGRI ends to the first round of debate with a measured response. She explains that there is a difference between mass tourism and rural tourism. The rural experience is an attraction of its own; the tourists will come.
In the second round of the debate, the discussion point is once again "keeping the rural in rural areas". Lana is firm on avoiding urbanization, but Louk says it's no problem. The line between rural and urban gets thinner and thinner everyday as farming techniques get more efficient. Ramsus wants to turn the debate in the direction of food production. We see again what an excellent public speaker he is, and his English is excellent! A strong contender for sure. Myrthe responds to this round of open debate by fiercely defending her committee's resolution.
Minou from IMCO has managed to stay fresh-faced and chipper throughout this whole day! It's great to hear a point from someone who's not half-asleep. Roos explains that someone who's lived on a farm their whole life doesn't need to learn how to milk a cow, they need higher education.
Xiaoyou wonders whether AGRI is planning to restore old buildings or build new ones. IMCO's Nina is a pleasure to watch with her wild hand gestures and great English. Now we go to the last two summation speeches of the day. AGRI's Josephine and Cato explain one more time the ingenuity of their resolution.
It's time for the very last vote of the day. The chairs were asked to present the scores in an original manner. After a whole lot of songs rhymes and dances the outcome is revealed; with 44 in favour and 22 against the final resolution of this weekend has passed!