Belgium: Walloon Rural Network
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The Walloon Rural Network encourages rural development by sharing good practice, ideas and information, supporting anyone who lives, works or has an interest in rural Wallonia.
The Walloon Rural Network defined 6 main objectives.
To facilitate the efficient implementation of the Rural Development Programme (RDP) and to add value across all sectors
To organise exchanges and activate cooperation between all rural stakeholders
To build and implement a global strategy for the coherent implementation of the RDP measures (by developing an integrated approach to rural development challenges)
To integrate EAFRD financed projects into other territorial projects (linking LAGs to natural parks and others)
To reinforce good practices in EAFRD implementation, by disseminating appropriate information.
To foster innovation in agriculture, food processes, forestry and rural areas.
Who the members are?
The members of the Walloon Rural network are mainly the beneficiaries of the Walloon Rural Development Programme (RDP).
How to become a member?
To apply for membership, stakeholders need to fill in the online application form (available on the website). While applying to become a member, five categories are provided:
1. Beneficiaries of the Walloon RDP (including farmers, foresters, associations, communes, enterprises, training organisations and others);
2. Public services of the Walloon Region (General Directorates for Agriculture, Forest, Natural Resources and Environment), and administrations related to the economy, employment, training and research, town and country planning, housing, energy and heritage as well as the administrations for tourism and culture, and the French and German speaking communities;
3. The network Walloon LAGs or LAGs;
4. Organisations active in rural areas (agricultural unions, representatives of foresters and local contractors (energy, food, etc.), associations for the environment and culture, representatives from local communities and small towns, local development and tourism agencies.
The NSU and the Managing Authority
The Walloon NSU is outsourced to an external service provider (Tr@me Scrl).
Regular implementation meetings and weekly exchanges of information between the contractor and the MA.
The NSU and the Monitoring Committee
Regular working relationship between NSU and Monitoring Committee (MC).
The NSU is member of the RDP MC and participates in various MC meetings
Two regional Network Support Units (NSUs) in Belgium
In Belgium there are two regional NSUs: the Walloon Rural Network and the Flemish Rural Network. The Flemish NSU also operates as the national NSU.
The Walloon and Flemish NSUs meet on a regular basis in order to follow up on each others’ work and to identify possible joint activities. Occasionally, the two networks co-organise events and other activities.
Examples of joint activities of the Walloon and Flemish Networks are:
- a debate in 2011 on young farmers,
- field visits to farms in order to share good practices,
- co-organisation of an event for LAG coordinators
The Walloon Network Assembly
The Walloon Rural Network´s Assembly consists of 34 organisations. The Assembly meets every 3 months.
The roles and responsibilities of the Assembly are to:
Steer the work of the Walloon Rural Network;
Define priority actions and work-plan for the network, based on the contributions of its members;
Monitor the activities and developments in each Working group;
Help mobilising stakeholders, disseminating information and identifying best practices;
to submit proposals/opinions and suggest methodological or content changes of the RDP.
The progress of activities and ENRD developments are presented in each Assembly meeting.
The Assembly also seeks to develop a transversal approach to make the link between the areas covered by the RDP and other policies. The Assembly acts as a forum for reflection on rural development as a whole, with the aim of anticipating changes, proposing procedures and providing recommendations regarding different policy areas.
Under the control of the Assembly specific working groups follows a similar method of work: analysing the problem, providing expertise, benchmarking, providing recommendations.
Total NRN public funds: 2.478.900
(Phase 1: 3 years)
Out of which national co-financing: 1.487.340
Out of which EAFRD: 991.560