Research Gateway

Rural Development Research Gateway

The ENRD supports the exchange of experience and information which promotes the effectiveness and efficiency of EU rural development policy. This includes actively engaging with other relevant networks.

One such important target group is the EU rural development research community. In this section of the website, are the results of a mapping exercise, which identifies EU institutions and organisations, initiatives and projects which involve research activities of relevance to rural development. Click on the links below for more detailed information.

Please note that this is an on-going process and further work will be undertaken. We welcome your feedback and if you have comments or suggestions, please contact us at:



There is a wide range of institutions and organisations involved in research on rural development in the EU-27. This includes relevant bodies and services of the European Commission, as well as independent not-for-profit organisations.

Click on the links below for further information on the role and responsibilities of a selection of these institutions and organisations.


E4_1.jpg Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI)
E4_1.jpg Joint Research Centre (JRC)
E4_1.jpg Directorate General for Regional Policy (DG REGIO)
E4_1.jpg Directorate General Research and Innovation (DG RTD)
E4_5.jpg European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)
E4_6.jpg General Committee for Agricultural Cooperation in the EU (COPA COGECA)
E4_7.jpg European Association for Mountain Areas (EUROMONTANA)



Initiatives here are taken to mean structures that are not regarded as institutions but which facilitate research on rural development, including networks, committees, information portals, etc. Click on the links below for further information about each initiative.


E4_8.jpg European Research Area (ERA) - composed of all research and development activities, programmes and policies in Europe which have a transnational perspective
E4_9.jpg ERAWATCH - provides information on European, national and regional research systems, policies, and programmes in the EU and beyond
E4_10.jpg NETWATCH - online platform on ERA-Nets, transnational and R&D programme collaboration
E4_11.jpg EU-AgriNet - portal dedicated to EU-funded research in agriculture, fisheries, forestry and rural development
E4_12.jpg RURAGRI ERA-NET - aims to improve coordination between on-going and future European, national and regional research programmes dealing with the new relationships between rural areas and agriculture in Europe
E4_13.jpg Standing Committee Agricultural Research (SCAR) - formed by representatives of Member States with a mandate to advise the Commission and the Member States on the coordination of agricultural research in Europe
E4_14.jpg Regions for Economic Change - initiative of the European Commission that aims to highlight good practice in urban and regional development, including that relevant to rural development
E4_15.jpg European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion (ESPON) - supports policy development related to EU Cohesion Policy



Research is largely conducted through projects that have funding for a finite period to engage various partners on a clearly defined programme of research work. A selection of projects related to rural development is listed below. Click on the links for further information about each project.


E4_16.jpg Development of a common generic methodology for evaluating the effectiveness of European agri-environmental schemes (AE-FOOTPRINT) - construction of a farm-level Agri-Environmental Footprint Index (AFI) that aggregates various quantifiable agri-environmental indicators
E4_17.jpg EU Bioenergy Policies and their effects on rural areas and agriculture policies (AGRIENERGY) - analysis of socio-economic, environmental and societal issues of EU bioenergy policies and their effects on CAP and concept of sustainable rural development
E4_18.jpg Common Agricultural Policy Regionalised Impact – The Rural Development Dimension (CAPRI-RD) – an operational Pan-European tool to analyse the regional impacts of all policy measures under CAP Pillar I and II
E4_19.jpg Developing Europe''s Rural Regions in the Era of Globalization (DERREG) – aims to develop understanding of rural development by examining globalization processes and local effects and experiences
E4_20.jpg European Development Opportunities in Rural Areas (EDORA)– a research project under the ESPON programme that studies the changes in rural areas of Europe to develop a clear and consistent rationale for policies to enhance territorial cohesion
E4_21.jpg Facilitating Alternative Agro-Food Network (FAAN) - research and recommendations relating to policy changes for the future strengthening of local food systems in the EU
E4_22.jpg Mountain Sustainability: Transforming Research into Practice (Mountain.Trip) – the development of better relationships between users and researchers through the translation of research findings into more useful and accessible information for practitioners
E4_23.jpg Rural Development Impact (RUDI) - enhancing understanding of the social, institutional and capacity–building effects of rural development policies at national and regional level
E4_24.jpg Rural Future Networks (RUFUS) - providing policy makers and stakeholders with a better theoretical and practical understanding of how CAP measures interact with other forms of public intervention in rural development
E4_25.jpg Sustainable Agriculture and Soil Conservation (SoCo) - to improve the understanding of soil conservation practices in agriculture and how farmers can be encouraged through appropriate policy measures to adopt these practices
E4_26.jpg Small and medium Sized Towns (TOWN) – investigation of the role of small and medium-sized towns in promoting territorial cohesion in Europe