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Seminars and Conferences

Conference on Communication in Rural Development
Milan, Italy: 17-18 November 2011

Communication – a cornerstone of rural development!

The Conference on ‘Communicating Rural Development to Citizens’ held on 17-18th November 2011 in Milan highlighted the importance of communication with respect to rural development with a particular focus on addressing a wider audience such as ordinary citizens, young people, etc.

Brief summary

The conference “Communicating Rural Development to Citizens” was held on 17-18th November 2011 in Milan. Jointly hosted by the ENRD, the Italian NRN and the Lombardy region, the event was designed to identify and share best practices in rural development communications across the EU.


The main aims of the conference were to:

  • create a network of communications from the National Rural Networks in order to share best practice;
  • to allow NRNs to showcase how the EU is supporting rural development policies across the different Member States;
  • to look at how NRNs and Managing Authorities currently build relationships with the media and go about their communication practices in an efficient way.

The event "Rural development communicated to the public" attended by some 230 people, was an opportunity to take stock of the latest tools, methodologies and practices when communicating to the citizen about the EAFRD and to make suggestions for the future, in particular at this important time for shaping the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy post-2013.

Sharing best practice communications

The Milan event was part of a wider thematic initiative on communication, jointly started by the ENRD together with a range of National Rural Networks from across the EU. The initiative was officially launched at the 12th NRN meeting in Brussels in June 2011. The overarching objective is to share and learn from communications examples and practices that are used to inform, engage and network with not only rural development stakeholders but the wider public in general.


On the first day the conference focused on the presentation of local and regional communication experiences in Italy, with regions giving examples of using social media and audiovisual content, while on the second day, case studies of communication and dissemination activities were presented by several EU Member States. For full details of programme, please see ‘documentation’.

An onsite exhibition was installed outside the conference premises with a 360° large screen displaying several communication examples from across Europe divided by theme and target audience.