German Rural Network

The German Rural Network has an informal membership without any application process. Its core tasks are the transfer of know-how and the exchange of experiences at national and European level.


The German Rural Network has an informal membership without any application process. Its core tasks are the transfer of know-how and the exchange of experiences at national and European level.


DVS Netzwerk Ländliche Räume
Deichmanns Aue 29
53179 Bonn
Telephone number: 
+49 (0)228 6845 3956
Email address: 
Contact persons: 
Jan Swoboda
(Head of Unit)
Stefan Kämper
Anke Wehmeyer
Stephanie Mueller
Isabella Mahler
Isabell Friess
Moritz Kirchesch
(LEADER, village development)
Bettina Rocha
Susanne Schniete
(AES, nature conservation)
Camilla Bentkamp
(nature consveration)
Anja Rath
Andrea Birrenbach
Dagmar Nitsch
Irene Lange
(web, social media)
Tim Schneider
Felix Kupfernagel
(social media)

NSU operation

The German NRN defined four objectives in line with the mandatory objectives set by EU Regulation No 1305/2013, and a further NRN-specific objective.
Foster the participation of stakeholders in implementing rural development programs 
Make a contribution  to the quality of rural development programs
Inform the broader public and potential beneficiaries  concerning politics for rural development,  
Facilitate knowledge transfer and innovation in agriculture, forestry, and food production
Be active in networking at European level

How to become a member?
Informal membership within the German Rural Network and no application process.
Most relevant topics, implementation problems and informational needs are identified in cooperation with stakeholders from federal and Länder (federal states) ministries and representatives from NGOs, academia or practitioners. 
How to get involved?
All stakeholders can participate in the different initiatives, propose actions or cooperate in the development of activities.
NRN funding is restricted to a set of decentralised trainings and workshops in different thematic fields. Interested parties have to apply with a minimum number of participants and in some fields with a described objective (twinning approach).
Active partners in the network can cooperate in project lines from DVS (e.g. publications, events) and can so become part of the NRN action plan.    

The NSU and the Federal Ministry
 The German Network Unit (DVS) is a sub-division of the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung, BLE).
DVS is assigned by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL)
The NSU and the Monitoring Committee
DVS is present at Länder monitoring committees.
Often project cooperation with DVS takes place at Länder-level or below.  
The NSU and Regional-level MAs
Activities of the national rural network are coordinated with the Managing Authorities of the regional RDPs from the federal states (Länder).
The German Rural Network organises continuous exchange opportunities, such as workshops related to key themes. Staff form the Managing Authority participates in these exchanges: there is close relationship, for example, with MA managers for the measures related to LEADER and Agri-environment. 
DVS staff takes part in several coordination meetings and committees: e.g. there is quite close relations with regional administrations.

Only four federal states (Länder) are running their own EAFRD (and mostly LEADER-related) networks, but the administration at Länder-level also provides RDP information. 
The German Network Unit (DVS) organises exchange meetings with these local networks in combination with other events like fairs or LAG-meetings. 
There is also a close contact with the elected LAG spokesmen at Länder-level and the federal LAG umbrella organisation (BAGLAG). This provides good insights on the demands of LAGs (321 in Germany).

The Network steering Committee meets once a year and decides about the working programme (which is developed  together with stakeholders, managing Authorities and other network-partners in advance). 
The federal level is mostly represented by umbrella organisations. DVS itself is part of the steering commitees on Länder-level  (13 programs in Germany). 
The German NRN also participates in many working groups of network partners. 

Budget (€)
Total NRN public funds: 10 000 000  
Out of which national co-financing: 5 000 000
Out of which EAFRD: 5 000 000

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