The Italian Rural Network aims at supporting rural development policies and fostering a more efficient interaction and exchange of expertise between relevant stakeholders and institutions and those working and living in rural areas.
The Italian NRN shall contribute to achieving the following objectives:
increase the involvement of stakeholders in the implementation of rural development;
improve the quality of the implementation of rural development programmes;
inform the broader public and potential beneficiaries on rural development policy and funding opportunities;
foster innovation in agriculture, food production, forestry and rural areas.
The strategy of the Italian NRN Programme focuses on 3 specific targets
Target Group 1 concerns all the actors at national, regional and local level who are involved in programming, managing and implementing the the rural development policy.
Target Group 2 refers to all economic, environmental, social stakeholders and all the potential beneficiaries of the RDP support (farms, SMEs in rural areas, forestry holders, etc.).
Target Group 3 concerns the civil society.
The Italian NRN Programme is declined in 4 strategic priorities: the first three correspond to objectives 1, 2 and 3.
The 4th priority represents one specific axis and is fully devoted to “Promotion of innovation” along two specific objectives (4.1) “Supporting the implementation of the EIP Operational Groups and the liaison with Horizon 2020 and national research/innovation policies”, and (4.2) “Promoting innovation in the primary and agro-food sector and in rural areas”
This following link from contains a comprehensive information about our NRN Programme :
Who are the members?
The structure of the NRN is pre-defined, however activities are open to all stakeholders, who can also ask to participate in meetings. No formal selection process is envisaged.
How to join the network?
There are no specific categories. NRN committees usually include representatives of the most important rural stakeholders at national scale
How to get involved?
The Italian NRN does not issue any specific call for proposals, but relies on the action of its two government bodies: ISMEA and CREA.
The NSU and the Managing Authority
The Network Support Unit (NSU) is set up within the Managing Authority (MIPAAF) with some activities outsourced or contracted to ministerial agencies.
The NRN is centrally planned and managed, with one “antenna”(help-desk) at MA level of each regional RDP. These 21 antennae rely on one person (two/three in the biggest Southern regions). They have a two-fold role: they perceive and gather needs from the territory, raising these issues to the central NRN structure; they provide feedback to their stakeholders.
In order to carry out all of the NRN actions, MIPAAF signed a cooperation agreement with two main technical bodies: ISMEA (Institute for the provision of services to agricultural markets), and CREA (Council for Agricultural Research and Economic analysis). These two Government bodies implement the NRN Action Plan.
The NSU and the Monitoring Committee
The NRN Monitoring Committee is formed of nearly 50 people, and meets at least once a year.
It has the task to review the implementation of the Programme, taking into account the progress made towards achieving the NRN objectives according to financial data, outputs and target indicators.
The Committee is also consulted in the case of amendments to the Programme and may express observations or remarks to the MA regarding the NRN implementation.
A wide representation of institutional bodies (such as Regions, Ministries) as well as stakeholders and NGOs are part of the Monitoring Committee.
Each Member has a voting right and EU Commission representatives also take part in the committee.
The national Network Support Unit is organised in a National based NSU and Regional Antennae.
Referring to the Art. 66 of the Reg. UE N. 1305/2013, the MA is responsible for the correct management of the Programme. The MA’s responsibilities implies the monitoring and evaluation of the program, its information and institution of a sound internal audit and control system, financial reporting and is in charge of managing the relations with the Paying Agency and the Monitoring Committee.
Coordination Units Level
The MA operates together with a “Network support and coordination unit” (STC) and an “Administrative and control unit” (SAC)
“Network support and coordination unit” (STC)
The “Network support and coordination unit” (STC) is established within the office DISR 2 (Rural development coordination – Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies) and is responsible for the governance of the Network, also through specific Committees for each axis of the Programme. The STC comprises 5 people.
“Administrative and control unit” (SAC)
The “Administrative and control unit” (SAC) is responsible for the monitoring of the expenditures of the Programme, control activities and interaction with the Paying Agency. The SAC comprises 2 people.
Four Steering Committees
In relation to the four specific objectives of the Network, four steering committees, each of them composed by approx. 20 people, with the participation of Regions and other stakeholders have a supervision task on the Network’s projects and “on going verification” of target groups needs during the NRN implementation.
Total NRN public funds: € 114 665 194
Out of which national co-financing: € 54 993 427
Out of which EAFRD: € 59 671 767