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ENRD Newsletter April 2018


Project of the month

Learn how a LEADER-supported project helped to expand and upgrade the broadband network on the island of Samsø, Denmark, benefitting the local community and increasing the business and tourism appeal of the area.

Discover more good practices related to rural broadband in our Project Database. Tools for LAGs – over to you!


  • EU Rural Review 25 available online

Issue 25 of the ‘EU Rural Review’ - the ENRD’s main thematic publication - on the topic of ‘Resource Efficiency’ is now available online. It explores some of the latest thinking and practice in how Europe’s rural areas can manage resources such as soil and water more sustainably and how the EU’s Rural Development policy can be used to support this. The publication was informed by the ENRD thematic work on ‘Resource Efficiency’, which was also featured in a dedicated edition of the EAFRD Projects Brochure. For subscriptions to ENRD publications, please write to subscribe@enrd.eu.

  • Enhancing rural innovation opportunities

The 11th OECD Rural Development Conference (9-12 April 2018 – Edinburgh, UK), discussed how innovation can help rural areas and people respond to the challenges of globalisation, shifting trading patterns, and growing inequality. The event highlighted ten key drivers of rural change and the development of an integrated policy approach to capitalise on these. It concluded with adoption of the Edinburgh Policy Statement which calls for making the most of rural innovation opportunities for job creation, economic growth, and service delivery (see also OECD’s Rural 3.0 Policy Note). The conference was co-hosted by the European Commission and the Scottish and UK Governments, and saw an active involvement of the European and UK rural networks. The ENRD Contact Point designed and facilitated six pre-conference workshops which brought together rural development practitioners and showcased inspiring project examples on topics including: global value chains; smart rural communities; technologies to face climate change; skills of the future; business support; and future governance.

  • New Declaration for smarter rural areas

A new Declaration on ‘smart villages’ calls for innovative and inclusive use of digital technologies; strengthened knowledge and entrepreneurship; and complementary support under EU funding instruments to boost the development of rural economies across the EU. The Declaration – under the heading ‘Smarter Future of the Rural Areas in EU’ –  was signed at a dedicated event (13 April, 2018 – Bled, Slovenia), attended by European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan. “Smart Villages are essentially about people – they are about rural communities taking the initiative to find practical solutions to challenges and make the most of new opportunities,” said Commissioner Hogan (read the full speech).

  •  An expanded ENRD publications library

Browse through the updated ENRD publications library which has now been expanded to include over 200 case studies, factsheets, event highlights and briefings produced by the ENRD Contact Point since 2014. The publications are searchable by type, keyword, year and free text, and cover the main work topics of the ENRD, including: smart villages, rural businesses and supply chains; water and soil management, resource efficiency and green economy; social inclusion; and LEADER/CLLD.

  • Visions for a ‘Vibrant Rural North'

A recent ENRD workshop (16 April 2018 – Saaremaa, Estonia) discussed rural challenges and opportunities such as climate change and technological advances, and constructed different visions for the future of northern rural areas. The event – co-organised by the ENRD Contact Point and the Estonian, Swedish and Finnish Rural Network support units – saw an exchange on the national application of their respective Rural Development Programmes (RDPs). Specific topics included ‘smart villages’, tourism, entrepreneurship and urban-rural connections, and their related networking activities.

  • Briefing on ‘Future of the CAP’

A recent briefing paper by the European Court of Auditors analyses key data and trends relevant to Europe’s agriculture and rural areas, discusses the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), as well as implications for the post-2020 policy. The paper is a response to the European Commission’s Communication on the Future of Food and Farming (published in November, 2017) and overviews criteria and key challenges for the new CAP.

  •  A new ‘Innovation for Agriculture’ website

The Portuguese Rural Network support unit has launched a new website on agricultural innovation available in English and Portuguese. The website is intended to collect useful resources on innovation and, more specifically, to highlight and share the results of the Portuguese EIP-AGRI Operational Groups to the benefit of the agricultural sector both throughout the country and beyond.

A free online training platform on restoration and re-use of farm buildings as a means of diversifying the rural economy has been made available by the project REVAB, supported under the EU’s Erasmus+ programme. The platform includes training modules and case studies from Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Spain showcasing how rural entrepreneurs have re-purposed agricultural buildings for activities such as agri-tourism, gastronomy, and office space. The main results of the project were presented at its final conference on 23 April 2018.

  • Rural Business Awards 2018

Are you a rural entrepreneur based in the UK? Apply for the Rural Business Awards by 31 May 2018 and gain recognition for excellence in business set-up, operation and management. This annual award was set up in 2015 and highlights contributions made by entrepreneurs to the development and success of the rural sector and rural way of life. The year’s edition will run in six regions throughout the UK and the winners in each region will be announced in October 2018.

  • Exchange schemes for young farmers

Are you a young farmer looking for knowledge and experience exchanges? Explore a wide variety of exchange schemes that exist in the EU, worldwide and in your country. Farmers and young people across Europe can benefit from an exchange scheme and gain invaluable knowledge that would help them get ready for the future.

  • Rewarding innovation in farming

How can satellite technologies be used to improve agricultural production and reduce its environmental impact? If you have an innovative idea, apply for the Farming by Satellite prize  - register by 30 June and submit your idea by 7 September 2018. The competition is open to students and young people across Europe who are invited to propose ideas and success stories on innovative uses of satellite technologies in support of farming.

See more information on the ENRD webside

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