ENRD Newsletter - August 2015


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  RDP approvals pass the half-way mark  
The European Commission has now approved more than half of the 118 Rural Development Programmes 2014-2020. On the occasion of the approval of the RDP for Wallonia on 20 July 2015, Commissioner Phil Hogan commented: “I am pleased to announce the approval of this 59th RDP, which marks the milestone of half of all programmes adopted.”

RDPs have now been approved in 24 out of 28 Member States and the process has been completed in 20 Member States. The majority of the programmes still awaiting approval are regional RDPs in France, Spain and Italy.

Follow the
latest RDP approvals, including the overall European state-of-play and individual country files.
Momentum Building towards Schärding 2015
National activities across Europe are feeding into preparations for the European Rural Parliament (ERP) to be held in Schärding, Austria, 4-6 November 2015. A wide set of national campaigns led by 37 national or regional champions are providing a rich starting point for the European Rural Manifesto, now in preparation.

Some of the most ambitious national campaigns – such as in Portugal - organised a series of regional meetings, sometimes followed by a national event. The process has triggered active moves towards the creation of NGO-based national rural networks in countries such as Albania, Austria, Cyprus and Turkey.

Download the ERP 2015 draft programme, which includes plenary sessions, working groups and a ‘Market of Ideas’ to be held in a large tent in the town square. Up to 350 participants are foreseen, with 200 from national delegations. For more news and to sign up to the ERP Newsletter, visit the new ERP website.
    2nd Steering Group meeting report available 

    The report of the second meeting of the EU Rural Networks’ Steering Group (SG) is now available on the ENRD website.

    The meeting – held in Brussels on 12 June - helped to fine-tune the priority themes and the best approaches for working on these topics by the two European rural networks (ENRD & EIP-AGRI).
    Call for experts: European Structural and Investment Funds

    The European Commission is looking for experts to support the development of Cohesion policy, Rural Development policy, the Common Fisheries Policy and the integrated Maritime policy.

    Experts within European organisations are sought to join a Structured Dialogue group to assist the implementation of European Structural and Investment Funds. The deadline for applications is 14 September 2015.
    Call for applications - High-Level group on simplification
    The European Commission is calling for experts for a new High Level Group Monitoring Simplification for Beneficiaries of the ESI Funds.

    The task of the group will be to advise the Commission on simplification and reduction of administrative burden for beneficiaries of the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds. Members will be selected in their personal capacity and are asked to send their CVs by 10 August 2015. Contact here.
    2014-2015 Global Food Policy Report

    The fourth edition of the annual Global Food Policy Report highlights the key trends in global food policy in 2014 as well as looking ahead to the opportunities and challenges in achieving food and nutrition security in 2015.

    Published by the International Food Policy Research Institute, the report presents expert analysis along with data for several key food policy indicators, including agricultural research spending and capacity for food policy research.
    Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change: a Role for Public Policies
    A new paper from the OECD focuses on Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change – A Role for Public Policies. It examines ways that governments can support farmers’ adaptation actions that provide both private and public benefits.

    The report provides a review of national adaptation strategies for the agricultural sector in OECD countries. It goes on to identify the main criteria under which governments may take action to support adaptation actions by farmers.
    Sustainable farming research

    EU-funded research has mapped out the long-term impacts of how farmers use soil and produced guidelines for best farming practices.
    The research project  CATCH-C has examined a multitude of soil management practices that best support crop productivity, soil quality and environmental sustainability. While recognising there is no single best practice, it has highlighted the need to tailor practice to local conditions to enhance climate change mitigation and soil health.
    A New Manual for Organic Cooperation

    Organic Cooperative Approaches to Rural Development: A Manual for Stakeholders’ is a new publication that aims to guide organic stakeholders in their use of the 2014-2020 Rural Development Programmes. It offers specific support to organic farmers and promotes cooperation and capacity building.
    Produced by IFOAM EU and seven organic farming organisations, the manual includes best practice examples of pioneering cooperative approaches to organic farming and a series of recommendations for successful organic cooperation.
    The Power of Local Food Systems

    Friends of the Earth Europe has published a new report highlighting grassroots movements that organise and promote local food supply chains, supplying sustainably-farmed, small-scale food.
    Entitled Eating from the Farm: the social, environmental and economic benefits of local food systems, the report presents five case studies of communities reclaiming their local food system in Spain, Italy, France, Czech Republic and Hungary.

    It concludes with a set of policy demands in support of local food systems to the European Commission and national governments.
    Commission supports rural jobs in Greece
    Greece’s farming sector and rural areas can benefit from almost EUR 20 billion of targeted funding up to 2020 from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) as part of a package of support designed to provide ‘A new start for jobs and growth in Greece’.

    The overall package of nearly EUR 35 billion includes around EUR 15 billion of direct payments under Pillar One of the CAP and EUR 4.7 billion of EAFRD support targeting initiatives to improve the competitiveness of Greek agriculture and open up employment opportunities in rural areas.
    OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2015-2024
    The latest Agricultural Outlook from the OECD and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations highlights and analyses trends in prices for major agricultural commodities, biofuels and fish.

    This latest edition includes market projections to 2024 and highlights likely market risks from global supply becoming increasingly concentrated in fewer countries. The report predicts at least one severe shock to work markets over the decade to come. It also includes a special feature on Brazil.

    22-27 August 2015
    AGRA - 53rd International Fair of Agriculture and Food
    Gornja Radgona, Slovenia
    Bringing together a wide range of agriculture and rural development stakeholders this international fair will host exhibitions of the latest achievements in agriculture and food and provide opportunities for networking and co-operation, as well as business and professional consultations.
    28 August 2015
    Towards a Smart Rural Europe
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Organised within the framework of the TASTE project, this conference will aim to identify the main conditions for the emergence of a ‘Smart Rural Europe’ taking account of regional dynamics and the new regional and rural policies.
    2-5 September 2015
    Riga Food 2015
    Riga, Latvia
    This annual food fair will highlight trends and novelties in the food industry development and present a number of food enterprises.
    5-13 September 2015
    Rural NGOs: Agents of Social Cohesion and Sustainable Development
    Messinia, Greece
    This event will explore the role of civil society in integrating minorities such as immigrants and refugees in the development of rural areas and the potential economic and social benefits from this integration.
    7-10 September 2015
    Multi-functional Farming Systems in a Changing World
    Montpellier, France
    This international symposium will deal with the analysis and concept of farming systems to include multifunctionality to adapt to the needs of resource and environmental sustainability, food security and socio-economic development.
    8-10 September 2015
    16th International Conference Rural-Urban Symbiosis
    Hamburg, Germany
    The event will explore how agricultural bio resources are used for energy provision with the aim of closing the gap between rural production and urban consumption. 
    7-15 September 2015
    Week of DG Agriculture and Rural Development stakeholders
    Milan, Italy
    Within the framework of Expo Milano 2015, DG AGRI will organise a series of seminars dedicated to topics raised by pertinent stakeholders in the aim of contributing to the global debate on food security.
    14-17 September 2015
    Second International Conference on Agriculture in an Urbanizing Society - "Reconnecting Agriculture and Food chains to Societal Needs"
    Rome, Italy
    The conference aims at advancing research on multifunctional agriculture and urban-rural relations by focusing on ways to reconnect agriculture and food chains to societal needs.
    18-20 September 2015
    Rural Film Festival "Corto e Fieno"
    Ameno, Italy
    This annual film festival examines the persistence of rural culture in contemporary society through a variety of testimonies from the rural world and aims to encourage a renewal of traditions of the land in new generations.
    22 September 2015
    European Parliament Intergroup Seminar
    Brussels, Belgium
    The European Parliament Intergroup on Rural, Mountainous and Remote Areas is holding a Seminar at the Committee of the Regions on ‘Rural Areas in Territorial Cohesion and Inclusive Growth Policy 2014-2020’. For practical info and inscriptions, contact: rumra.red@ruraleurope.org
    23 September 2015
    RISE Conference at Expo Milano
    Milan, Italy
    The Rural Investment Support for Europe (RISE) Foundation is hosting a one-day Conference on  Sustainable Intensification and Nutrient Recovery and Reuse in Agriculture in the EU Pavilion at Expo Milano. It will be followed by a visit to a large nutrient recovery centre outside Milan.
    24 September 2015
    National Rural Networks’ Meeting
    Milan, Italy
    This ‘special edition’ NRN meeting aims to strengthen the capacity of National Support Units (NSUs) to provide support and guidance to LEADER/CLLD stakeholders through mutual learning and exchange of relevant experience among managing authorities, NSUs and Local Action Groups (LAGs).
    25 September 2015
    Strengthening Local Development through Co-operation
    Milan, Italy
    This conference will focus on improving LEADER/CLLD implementation as a way to boost inter-territorial and transnational co-operation within the EU and with third countries.
    28-29 September 2015
    Rural Matters International Conference
    Aveiro, Portugal
    The event will address the processes, dynamics, actors and institutions involved in the design and implementation of rural development policies and strategies. It will further explore the meanings of ‘rural’ in contemporary societies and consumption practices through leisure and tourism related activities.
    29 September - 1 October 2015  
    LINC Conference 2015
    Maratea, Italy
    The 2015 edition of the LEADER Inspired Network Community (LINC) Conference will promote exchange of experience and ideas for new co-operation projects in the context of the beginning of the new programming period.
    29 September - 1 October 2015  
    Natura 2000 Farmland Management and Biodiversity Conference
    Madrid, Spain
    This three-day networking event will showcase best practices of Natura 2000 planning and management, as well as various forms of co-operation and collaboration for agricultural production, biodiversity and nature conservation.
    30 September  
    SmartSOIL Conference
    Brussels, Belgium
    The concluding conference of the SmartSOIL project will discuss sustainable soil management aimed at reducing threats to soils under climate change and its implications for farming practices and policy.
    1 October 2015
    fi-compass Seminar on EAFRD Financial Instruments
    Vienna, Austria
    This one-day seminar aims to increase participants’ understanding of how Financial Instruments for agriculture and rural development can help efforts to deliver the objectives of the EAFRD in 2014-2020. It is aimed at RDP implementation stakeholders.
    2-4 October 2015
    8th International Organic and Regional Food Fair ‘Natura Food’
    Lodz, Poland
    This industry event will present the latest international trends in the development of organic agriculture and provide opportunities for business co-operation in the sector.
    14-17 October 2015
    Bringing Innovations to Organic Farming
    Bratislava, Slovakia
    This international scientific conference will present and discuss cutting-edge organic agriculture research conducted in Central and Eastern Europe.
    18-20 October 2015
    NATEXPO Trade Fair
    Paris, France
    This trade show for ecological and healthy food production will present the latest organic market trends and innovations.
    20 October 2015
    3rd European Rural Networks’ Steering Group Meeting
    Brussels, Belgium
    Save the date. More details to follow.
    21-22 October 2015
    The Future of Food - the Future of Biodiversity?
    London, UK
    This symposium will bring together experts and leading voices from farmers' groups, food suppliers, retailers, conservationists, scientists, NGOs and policy-makers to debate on sustainable solutions to the growing challenge of balancing food security and environmental protection.
    26 November 2015
    2nd European Rural Networks’ Assembly
    Brussels, Belgium
    Save the date. More details to follow.
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