Setting-up the Network
Stakeholder participation and representation
The role of EAFRD-financed national rural networks (NRNs) is to bring together organisations and administrations involved in rural development, including very importantly the beneficiaries and potential beneficiaries of rural development programmes (RDPs).
Member States have taken a variety of different approaches to stakeholder participation and representation in the NRNs. This ranges from: 1) an informal, open approach to membership whereby anyone representing a stakeholder group involved in (or concerned by) rural development is usually considered a member, and as such is admitted to participate in the activities of the network, to 2) a much more formal membership involving a process of ‘application’ to determine membership and hence admission to the network.
There are no recommendations or guidance regarding which is the best approach to adopt, however it is obvious that formal, closed membership carries the greatest risk of excluding stakeholders and limiting the development of a diverse and dynamic network. On the other hand, an informal, open membership appears to offer more potential and motivation for rural stakeholders to engage with the network and get fully involved with networking initiatives.
Stakeholder membership by NRN (2007-2013)
- Open membership
- Formal membership