Austrian Rural Network

The Austrian Rural Network focuses on informing, building rural stakeholders' awareness, facilitating networking and innovative solutions and strengthening the skills needed for programme implementation.


Netzwerk Zukunftsraum Land
Dresdner Straße 68a
A-1200 Vienna
Telephone number: 
+43 (1) 332 1338 14
Email address: 
Contact persons: 
Georg Keuschnigg
(General )
Kerstin Malin
(General )
Luis Fidlschuster
Gertraud Leimüller
Michael Fischer
(NRN self-assessment/ evaluation)
DI Johannes Fankhauser
(Agriculture, forestry & value chain)
Michael Proschek-Hauptmann
(Environment, nature conservation, climate)
Hanspeter Gratzl
(Office management )

NSU operation

Austrian Rural Development Programme set five main objectives:

  • Building awareness of the challenges of the rural areas
  • Facilitating new innovative solutions
  • Wide participation in the implementation of the RDP
  • Reflection of learning experience and improvement of the RDP 2014 – 2020
  • Strengthening the skills needed for programme measure implementation

Who can join the network?
The Austrian Rural Network has an informal membership process. The network targets different stakeholders by designing different kinds of activities: some of them are open for all interested people; some are specialised and addressed mainly to specific stakeholders and experts.

How to get involved?
The addresses of interested stakeholders are collected and clustered by the Network´s most relevant working areas: agriculture, forestry and value chain, environment, nature protection and climate change, LEADER/CLLD and innovation. Stakeholders are informed through newsletter, website and magazines.

The network is open to receive suggestions from stakeholders on themes or projects to address issues in each working area. These are discussed with the NSU management team, which decided whether to include additional sub-projects into annual action plan.

The NSU is outsourced from the MA (the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management) and it is the contracting authority for the NSU partnership.

The NSU and the Managing Authority
The cooperation with the Managing Authority is very close and based on 3 steps:

  • A very precise yearly action plan based on which every activity is discussed and authorised;
  • Every three months a meeting is set to discuss on-going questions;
  • A yearly report includes documentation for all activities undertaken, including self-assessment.

The NSU and the Monitoring Committee
The NSU team leader is a member of the National Rural Development Monitoring Committee and represents the Austrian NRN in the meetings.

Coordination Committee
The first governance body is the coordination committee, where representatives from the NSU and the MA develop and negotiate annual working programmes, which are the basis for the work of the NSU.
Strategic Advisory Groups
Strategic advisory groups (“Begleitgruppen”) are a second layer in the Austrian governance structure. Along five thematic fields, representatives from different organisations meet regularly to support the NSU in developing the annual working programmes, and are a valuable source for monitoring and evaluating NSU activities.
The five thematic fields of the advisory groups are:

  • Agriculture and forestry / value chains
  • Environment, biodiversity, nature conservation
  • Climate protection and climate change
  • Basic services, LEADER and municipalities
  • Innovation

Thematic Working Groups
Thematic working groups are established as a third category of governance bodies. Especially for new topics like integration of refugees in rural areas or the role of businesses in rural development these working groups help find a focus for further actions. Compared to the strategic advisory groups, thematic working groups meet on an ad hoc basis.

Total NRN public funds: 5 950 000  
Out of which national co-financing: 3 008 915
Out of which EAFRD: 2 941 085


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