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National Rural Network


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ENRD Newsletter January 2018


  • New rules simplifying the CAP

A series of changes to the rules governing the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) came into force on 1 January 2018, laying out a simpler and more flexible approach to direct payments to farmers, rural development, common market organisation and horizontal aspects.

The changes to rural development rules introduce: improved risk management tools for farmers; reduced administrative burden of implementation, including selection and eligibility criteria; and simpler conditions for Financial Instruments – read a summary here.

These changes are part of the so-called Omnibus Regulation which will amend the Financial Regulation on the EU budget and a wide range of related legislation.

  •  Case studies on Smart Villages

The ENRD Contact Point has developed four case studies exploring innovative strategies and approaches to boosting rural services through digital and social innovation, including:

Digitising the supply of goods, communication, mobility and e-government in Germany’s ‘Digital Villages’;

Encouraging joint rural-urban activities around health, energy, education and culture through ‘Reciprocity Contracts’ in France;

Assessing digital opportunities in the Finnish ‘Smart Countryside’ study to better tailor Rural Development Programme support;

Combining European and national funding to support strategies for both local development and service innovation via an integrated ‘Strategy for Inner Areas’ in Italy.

Interested in the topic of Smart Villages? Follow our dedicated web page for the latest updates and explore our online portal collecting projects, initiatives, and networks from across Europe.

  • Rural Connections magazine available in six languages

The latest edition of the ENRD networking magazine ‘Rural Connections’ is now available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Polish on the ENRD website.

This issue explores in depth the concept of and various approaches to Rural Proofing and offers a diverse selection of stakeholder perspectives on a wide range of topics.

If you wish to receive paper copies of future editions, please write to subscribe@enrd.eu, specifying the language you are interested in and your complete postal address.

  •  LEADER innovation resources online

Explore our new LEADER innovation page and browse through various resources, including guidance, practical examples, events and relevant research.

The page will be continuously expanded to include more examples and recommendations for encouraging LEADER innovation at both the local and programming levels. It is based on the input of the dedicated ENRD Practitioner-led Working Group (PWG), but we welcome your feedback too! Share your practical examples of LEADER-supported innovation: fill in our template and send it back to us at leader-clld@enrd.eu.

  • Enhancing rural innovation

A major rural development conference, run by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), will take place on 9-12 April 2018 in Edinburgh, UK.

The event will bring together a wide range of stakeholders to discuss better policies for rural regions and exchange on how to make the most of rural innovation opportunities for job creation, economic growth, and service delivery. It will build on the Cork 2.0 Declaration and the OECD’s New Rural Policy.

The ENRD Contact Point and the European Commission’s DG AGRI will actively participate in the event, running a series of pre-conference workshops.

  •  Microfinance for rural Europe

Explore a collection of good practices on microfinance for locally led rural development from across Europe put together by the European Microfinance Network (EMN).

The publication overviews the rural entrepreneurial environment in Europe and explores good examples of microfinance (loans of up to € 25 000 and other microcredits) that can make investing more affordable for rural entrepreneurs. Discover more case studies on the topic here.

  •  European Structural and Investment Funds at work

A new report by the European Commission overviews what the EU Rural Development (EAFRD), Fisheries (EMFF), Cohesion (CF), Regional (ERDF) and Social (ESF) Funds have achieved since the beginning of the 2014-2020 funding period.

The report reveals that € 278 billion – almost half of the five Funds’ overall budget – had been committed to concrete projects by October 2017. For further information, see the related press release, factsheet and video.

  • Funding for promotion of EU agricultural products

The European Commission has launched calls for projects aimed at promoting EU farm products on both the internal and third country markets.

A total of € 169 million is available to co-finance programmes ranging from general campaigns on healthy eating to specific market sectors. The deadline for submitting proposals is 12 April 2018.

  •  Nordic-Baltic rural and maritime award

The Rural Network Support Units of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden have launched a competition for good projects funded under the EU’s Rural Development (EAFRD) and Fisheries (EMFF) Funds.

The award seeks to recognise projects, actions or investments in the participating countries, which have received support under either of the two Funds. Look out for the winners which will be announced at the Awards Gala Event in Örnsköldsvik, during the Swedish Rural Parliament of 18-20 May 2018.

  • Good LEADER project practice

Looking for an inspirational LEADER funding idea? Browse through the online database of the Irish Rural Network featuring 35 LEADER projects supported under the 2007-2013 programming period.

  •  Using satellite data to modernise the CAP

Working to produce various tools relevant for the management of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the new project Sen4CAP – funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) – seeks to provide the data necessary to enable more effective and cost-efficient control of farming practices.

The project targets European and national stakeholders, particularly Paying Agencies, aiming to facilitate procedures for monitoring farmers’ compliance by using satellite data on land use collected by the EU’s earth observation programme Copernicus.

  • Boosting agri-innovation support services

A new Horizon 2020 project – AgriLink – is working between 2017 and 2021 to improve understanding of the role played by agricultural advisors in strengthening knowledge flows, enhancing learning and boosting innovation on a wide variety of farm types.

The project will develop case studies exploring the basis of European farmers’ decision-making regarding the adoption of different types of innovation, as well as create and test new and improved support services.

 See more information on the ENRD website

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