Nordic-Baltic Rural Networks
There are eight national rural networks in the Baltic Cluster - Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Germany.
The Nordic-Baltic rural networks first began to communicate regularly during 2007. “We were setting-up our networks for the first time and we all had a lot to learn”, explained Ave Bremse from the Estonian Rural Network, “the natural thing to do was to pick up the telephone and ask our neighbours what they were planning – and so our co-operation began.”
Since 2008 the networks have regularly met twice per year. The agenda and presentations from the 8th Nordic-Baltic rural networks meeting in Tallinn, Estonia, on 13-14 September 2011 can be found here. During this meeting the rural networks were also joined by the fisheries networks in the region. As Hans-Olof Stålgren from the Swedish Rural Network commented, “We have a common history, a common identity and common future, it’s appropriate that we work together now on common solutions to our common issues and challenges.”
A short video on the benefits of the Nordic-Baltic cluster of rural networks can be found here
The Nordic-Baltic rural networks have an increasingly important strategic role regarding the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) that was adopted by the European Commission in June 2009. Click here for further information on the EUSBSR.
The EUSBSR aims to address the urgent environmental problems of the Baltic Sea region through an integrated strategy. One key element of the strategy is Sustainable Rural Development and the Nordic-Baltic rural networks are actively promoting the synergies between their rural development programmes (RDPs) and the objectives of the EUSBSR.
A seminar on “Common Rural Development Measures for the Baltic Sea Region” was hosted in Helsinki by the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture in cooperation with the Finnish Rural Network on 28-29 September, 2011. The objective of the conference was to find synergies and value added on cooperation between the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) and Member State Rural Development Programmes (RDPs). Full proceedings of the seminar can be downloaded here.