The European Network for Rural Development (ENRD)

Governance of the EU Rural Networks

Governance of the EU Rural Networks

The EU rural development policy for 2014-2020 further developed the European Rural Development Network (ENRD), incorporating the activities of the European Evaluation Network for Rural Development (EEN), which was organised separately in 2007-2013, and created the European Innovation Partnership network for agricultural productivity and sustainability (EIP-AGRI network), recognising the added value networks can play in supporting the policy delivery.


The ENRD and the EIP-AGRI network are governed by a joint structure organised around the three following levels:

Strategic level:

an inclusive assembly, the Rural Networks' Assembly (196 members), provides the strategic framework (operational objectives, types of activities…) for both Networks; provides for thematic work.

A description of the membership and tasks of the Assembly can be found here

The Rural Networks' Assembly's rules of procedure, version 04/09/2015 with “Article 15” added.

Two lists of the Rural Assembly members are available, sorted: by country and by type of organisation.


Operational level:

a steering group, the Rural Networks' Steering Group, coordinates activities and thematic work (work plans)

Two lists of the Rural Networks' Steering Group members are available, sorted: by country and by type of organisation.


Thematic work:

the Assembly may set up three permanent Sub-groups on:

  • Innovation for agricultural productivity and sustainability;
  • LEADER and Community Led Local Development; and
  • The evaluation of Rural Development Programmes.


A large number of stakeholders have already expressed interest in starting the thematic work concerning LEADER/CLLD and Innovation as soon as possible. It is therefore proposed that the permanent Sub-group on LEADER/CLLD and the permanent Sub-group on Innovation are set up by the Assembly at its first meeting.

At the current phase of the programming period (beginning 2015), taking into account the evaluation activities already foreseen, it is proposed to postpone the discussion on the permanent Sub-group on Evaluation to the next meeting of the Assembly, based on the work of the Steering Group.

In addition to the permanent sub-groups, other flexible sub-groups, thematic groups and focus groups may carry out the "substantial work" of the networks (knowledge development, knowledge sharing on specific topics), consistently with the strategic framework provided by the Assembly.

Three Network Support Units, the ENRD Contact Point, the EIP AGRI Service Point and the Evaluation Helpdesk, support networking activities and help facilitating the work of the different governance bodies.


For more details about the following ENRD stakeholders: