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National Rural Network


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ENRD Newsletter October 2017



The ENRD Contact Point has just launched a new CLLD partner search tool allowing Local Action Groups (LAGs) to browse through cooperation offers and find project partners from across Europe.

 LAGs can now identify potential partners based on a country preference and project idea, then get in direct contact with the LAG proposing the project.

 The tool will soon be upgraded to allow LAGs themselves to create and put cooperation offers online. In the meantime, if you have an exciting project idea and are looking for a partner, fill in our cooperation offer template and send it back to us at leader-clld@enrd.eu – we will spread the word.


Several ENRD Contact Point team members took part in the Agri Innovation Summit (11-12 October 2017 – Lisbon, Portugal) facilitating workshop discussions on specific approaches and tools that can enable rural areas to benefit from current and emerging innovation opportunities. Key messages from these workshops highlight that: 

- Supporting rural services through social and digital innovation in areas such as health, education and mobility would contribute to making ‘Smart Villages’ a reality. This could be achieved through bottom-up strategic planning, ‘rural proofing’, linking pilot initiatives, and strengthening the role of LEADER/CLLD.

- Business support systems should combine innovative, flexible and integrated policy approaches with tools such as business accelerators and advisory services for non-agricultural businesses. Find out more about ENRD work on smart rural business support.

- Extending digital opportunities for rural businesses and communities should start with bottom-up strategies identifying local needs and digitisation tools such as ‘rural digital hubs’.

- High-speed broadband connectivity is key for rural communities to access innovative and smart (e-)services. LEADER/CLLD initiatives could contribute to developing or upgrading broadband infrastructures by bringing people together and aggregating demand.


Explore a wide range of new ENRD materials identifying ways to better support rural entrepreneurship, including:

- Practical case studies examining successful experiences with rural business accelerators, community broadband, and rural digital hubs;

- Analysis of 2014‐2020 RDP support for rural businesses;

- Factsheets on social innovation and entrepreneurship, smart RDP support, digital hubs, and accelerators;

- Report of the ‘Rural Businesses’ Thematic Group;

- Dedicated editions of the EU Rural Review and the EAFRD Projects Brochure.


The ENRD Contact Point has developed practical tools and guidance on LEADER Transnational Cooperation (TNC) providing a step-by-step overview of all the stages of a cooperation project: from project idea, through implementation, to evaluation and communication.

The materials explore topics such as: identifying TNC opportunities; selection criteria; legal structures for cooperation; preparatory actions; and provide summaries of relevant EU rules and guidance.


A recent ENRD workshop (28 September 2017 – Brussels, Belgium) explored ways of increasing complementarities between Natura 2000 and the Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) through exchange of experience and good practice examples from across Europe.

The discussions highlighted that RDP Measures linked to Rural Development Priority 4 – ‘Restoring, preserving and enhancing ecosystems’ – can be effectively used for nature conservation purposes. However, adjustments to the RDPs are possible to better address the needs of Natura 2000 sites, especially in relation to forestry.

The event was jointly organised by the ENRD Contact Point and the European Commission’s Directorate-Generals for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) and Environment (DG ENV).


New rules simplifying the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) through a series of technical improvements to the four CAP Regulations on direct payments, rural development, common market organisation and horizontal aspects have recently been agreed by the EU institutions.

 The agreed rules are part of the so-called Omnibus Regulation which, following adoption, will amend the Financial Regulation on the EU budget and a wide range of related legislation. Discussions on other parts of the Omnibus package are continuing.


The results of an EU-wide survey among young farmers highlight fair income, access to land, and simplification of administrative procedures as key conditions for them to develop their farms in economically and environmentally sustainable ways.

The survey was carried out by the European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA) in partnership with DeLaval between April and August 2017.


Browse through the new online publications library of the main ENRD publications: the EU Rural Review, EAFRD Projects Brochure and Rural Connections Magazine.

The ENRD publications are available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Polish and exist in both electronic and paper formats. If you wish to subscribe to receive paper copies of future editions, write to us at subscribe@enrd.eu.


Aiming to support the take-up and implementation of the LEADER approach in the Western Balkans, Turkey and beyond, a new publication by DG AGRI compiles practical information on setting up and encouraging bottom-up initiatives in rural areas.

The guide features useful knowledge on: preparing the ground for LEADER; establishing LAGs; preparing and implementing Local Development Strategies, as well as sections on networking and innovation. It focuses on actions supported under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance to Rural Development (IPARD), however the methodology can be applied more broadly.


Get in contact with rural development stakeholders from all EU Member States – explore the updated country information pages on the ENRD website.

You will find the contact details of Managing Authorities, Paying Agencies and Network Support Units, as well as profiles of all National Rural Networks (NRNs), including objectives, membership, governance, budget, and more. The pages also feature the full texts of the Rural Development Programmes, factsheets and summaries.


A new Horizon 2020 project – ROBUST – will work between 2017 and 2021 to explore interactions and dependencies between Europe’s rural, peri-urban and urban areas, showcase good practices and foster mutually beneficial relations.

The project will run ‘Living Labs’, gathering policy-makers, researchers, citizens, and businesses to develop and test new solutions for rural-urban interactions. These will help to build ‘Communities of Practice’ on the topics of: new businesses and labour market; public infrastructures and social services; sustainable food systems; cultural connections; ecosystem services.

See more information on the ENRD website


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