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National Rural Network


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ENRD Newsletter December 2017


  • Communication on the future of the CAP

The European Commission published on 29 November 2017, its Communication on the ‘Future of Food and Farming – for a flexible, fair and sustainable Common Agricultural Policy’ (CAP).

The document provides the Commission’s vision of the CAP post 2020, outlining a simpler and more flexible approach to ensure that the CAP delivers results in supporting farmers and drives the sustainable development of EU agriculture. It lays the ground for a new implementation system, paving the way for a more results-based approach to the CAP. It will be followed by detailed legislative proposals before the summer of 2018.

For further information, read the related press release, memo and factsheets here and explore a collection of resources compiled by the research service of the European Parliament’s AGRI committee.

  • New edition of Rural Connections now online

The autumn/winter 2017 edition of the ENRD networking magazine ‘Rural Connections’ is now available on the ENRD website.

In this issue, we focus on… Rural Proofing, exploring in depth the UK and Nordic approaches and featuring the visions of the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, and Guillaume Cros, a member of the European Committee of the Regions. As well as our regular news and updates, we present a diverse selection of stakeholder perspectives on topics ranging from community-led rural broadband initiatives to the first ever European Rural Youth Parliament.

You can subscribe to receive free paper copies of future editions in English, French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish: subscribe@enrd.eu.      

  • Strategic report on the implementation of the European Structural and Investment Funds

Published by the European Commission on 13 December 2017 – read it here.

  • A new Smart Villages portal

The ENRD Contact Point recently launched an online portal collecting projects, initiatives, and networks from across Europe exploring new and varied ways of revitalising rural services through digital and social innovation.

The portal contains information collected by the ENRD Thematic Group (TG) on ‘Smart Villages’ and will be continuously expanded to showcase the abundance of inspiring activities at the European, national and local levels. Are you involved in a good project on the topic? Share it with us.

The new portal was presented at the second TG meeting (7 December 2017) which focused on social innovation, exploring imaginative local solutions to deficiencies in rural services and ways of building a more favourable policy environment to enable such initiatives.

  • Rural Networks’ Assembly reviews self-assessment findings

The fourth meeting of the Rural Networks’ Assembly (14 December 2017 – Brussels, Belgium) made recommendations for improving network activities in light of the first comprehensive self-assessment exercise.

In addition, Assembly members heard about and exchanged on the European Commission’s Communication on the Future of Food and Farming and reviewed proposals for the 2018 priority activities of the European Rural Networks.


  • Priority topics for Water and Soil Management

The second meeting of the ENRD Thematic Group (TG) on Water and Soil Management (15 December 2017) discussed findings from the initial research work carried out by the ENRD Contact Point on results-based payment schemes, collective approaches, and nutrient management.

The meeting gathered various rural development stakeholders to refine these sub-themes and exchange on how good practices around them can be transformed into recommendations for more effective RDP implementation.

  • EU Rural Review 24 available in seven languages

Issue 24 of the EU Rural Review on the topic of ‘Re-imagining Rural Business Opportunities’ is now available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish and Portuguese on the ENRD website.

This issue explores some of the latest thinking and practice in how rural entrepreneurship can be supported to take advantage of emerging opportunities and latent potential in order to develop new forms of successful rural business.

  • ENRD work on LEADER innovation

A recent ENRD workshop (30 November 2017 – Brussels, Belgium) gathered 35 LEADER experts and practitioners to explore ‘risk averse’ and ‘opportunity seeking’ attitudes towards local innovation.

Discussions focused on the proportionality of regulatory requirements, improved provision of information, the ‘innovation facilitation’ role of Local Action Groups, and enhanced coordination along the entire LEADER delivery chain. The ENRD Contact Point will continue to enable exchange and collect information on the topic. Look out for our new web page on LEADER innovation due in January 2018.

  • A new rural network in Turkey

A new National Network for Rural Development was launched on 28 November 2017 in Ankara, Turkey, opening possibilities for cooperation and exchange with EU rural networks.

The launch event gathered a wide range of stakeholders, including the first 25 Turkish Local Action Groups (LAGs) funded under the EU’s Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance for Rural Development (IPARD). The network is now set to consolidate, define its tasks and thematic priorities, which will begin in 2018.

  • Bringing broadband to rural Greece

A project working to develop broadband infrastructure in rural and remote areas in Greece was recognised at the recent European Broadband Awards 2017 for its contribution to territorial cohesion.

The project – which provided connectivity through a variety of broadband technologies to more than half a million people at affordable prices – benefitted from private, national and EU funding, including support under the Rural (EAFRD) and Regional Development (ERDF) funds.

        New rural development videos from the networks

 Three of the National Rural Networks (NRNs) have recently released new videos illustrating the benefits from and opportunities under the Rural Development Programmes (RDPs):

    Videos showcasing inspirational projects funded under the Scottish RDP (source: Scottish NRN);

    Videos under the theme 'Farm Viability and Competitiveness' (source: Irish NRN);

    Videos on the topic of efficient use of natural resources in agriculture summarising findings from the ENRD-led thematic work (source: Italian NRN).

  • A catalogue of agri innovation projects

 A wide range of innovation projects showcased at the Agri Innovation Summit (11-12 October 2017 – Lisbon, Portugal) has now been compiled into a comprehensive catalogue.

 The publication features over 100 projects supported under different funding streams and classifies them in the following broad categories:

    Resource use: adaptation and mitigation;

    Management of farming, food and forestry systems and valorisation of the territory

    Agriculture 4.0 and rural development.

  • Boosting rural-urban partnerships for innovation

A new Interreg Europe project – RUMORE – will work to encourage rural-urban cooperation between innovation actors while strengthening regions’ innovation capacity, supporting their sustainable development and contributing to territorial cohesion.

The project (2017-2021) will seek to identify and transfer good practices of cluster cooperation, stakeholder involvement and knowledge transfer, and share experience on the development of action plans to improve policy instruments.

See more information on the ENRD website

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