ENRD Newsletter - June 2015


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  National Rural Networks discuss their action plans  
The 2nd National Rural Networks (NRN) meeting for the 2014-2020 programming period focused on the NRN action plans for the new period. The event brought together more than 50 NRN representatives from across the EU in Jūrmala, Latvia, 12-13 May.

The meeting addressed the NRNs’ priority rural development themes and the development of their overall action plans in the context of the new period and the Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) being launched.

Specific topics included the development of NRN Communication Plans, work with
EIP-AGRI and the launch of Operational Groups on innovation, communicating the RDPs and how NRNs can self-assess their work over the coming period.

See the
event webpage for more information and presentations. The event report will be made available shortly.
New Edition of EAFRD Projects Brochure 
A new edition of the EAFRD Projects Brochure focused on the 2014-2020 EU rural development priorities has been published online by the ENRD.

The brochure looks into the ideas and achievements of more than 50 projects implemented using EAFRD support. It presents 12 projects in more detailed case studies, two for each of the six rural development priorities. As well as highlighting the successes of previous projects, the brochure aims to inform and inspire the next generation of EAFRD projects.

The brochure will be translated into French, German, Spanish, Italian and Polish. If you wish to subscribe to receive paper copies, please write to . You can also order a free paper copy at any time via the EU bookshop website.
    Commission Approves Another 24 RDPs

    The European Commission adopted on 26 May 24 of the national or regional Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) of Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
    National and regional programmes have now been approved in 23 out of the 28 EU Member States, constituting 62.4% of the Rural Development budget. Find out facts and figures on the state of play of RDP approvals and detailed country factsheets.
    OECD Highlights Economic Potential of Rural Areas

    The 10th OECD Rural Development Policy Conference has stressed that in times of economic crisis, rural areas must be seen as sources of “opportunities, options and growth.”

    Participants concluded that combining a range of financial instruments, boosting private investments, supporting local food systems, promoting the bioeconomy and emphasising environmental sustainability are indispensable for fully realising the economic potential of rural areas.

    The event gathered leading international policymakers, experts and private sector representatives in Memphis (USA), 19-21 May, to debate on modern rural policies and how their implementation can best contribute to economic growth. The conference built upon the 2006 ‘New Rural Paradigm’ report.
    CLLD as a Tool for Social Inclusion
    The CLLD approach has the potential to contribute to the social inclusion of marginalised groups, such as Roma populations, concludes an event of the ERGO network dedicated to the topic.
    The event focused on the exchange of practical experiences from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia in planning calls for proposals and selecting strategies and interventions to ensure CLLD outreach to Roma. A number of EU and international guiding documents and a paper of the ERGO Network already provide practical insights into designing effective local strategies able to address Roma exclusion.
    Boosting Online Agri Knowledge Sharing
    Chil.org is a new web portal intended to facilitate knowledge sharing in the agricultural, agro-industrial, environmental and rural sectors across Europe.

    The portal allows an exchange of ideas, innovative practices, technological and business trends via a variety of web tools such as news and events feeds, publication of documents, blogs, fora, web hosting and wikis. The portal’s automatic translation function allows information to be seen in the user’s national language.
    New Infographics on Organic Food in the EU

    The European Parliamentary Research Service has recently produced infographics on Organic Production and Consumption in the EU.
    The infographics present details on organic agricultural land, producers, sales and consumption in the EU. They provide statistical data on where and why Europeans buy organic food.

    For more detailed information, read ‘The World of Organic Agriculture 2015’ statistical report from which most of the infographics’ data originates.

    Public Consultation on Research in Global Food Security

    The European Commission has launched an online consultation open to all interested stakeholders until 1 September 2015 on the role of science and innovation in ensuring safe and sustainable food.
    The basis for the public debate is a discussion paper analysing research and innovation challenges and identifying areas where the EU can add most value. The results of the consultation will feed into discussions on the same topic throughout Expo Milano and aim to inform a broader global debate on agricultural research and development.
    Fighting Rural Depopulation in Spain

    A new study has investigated the factors that have led to alarming levels of depopulation in Spanish rural regions and highlighted 50 measures to effectively tackle the issue.
    The measures, intended to serve as a basis for setting national-level policy, cover territorial, fiscal, social, financial, technological and informational aspects and will aim to ensure the social and economic future of rural areas.
    A Step Forward against Food Waste
    The French Parliament approved on 21 May a series of measures to cut down on food waste as part of the government’s effort to halve waste by 2025.

    Notably, the new legislation makes it illegal for large supermarkets to throw away edible food and obliges them to donate it to charity or allow it to be turned into animal feed, compost or energy.
    New Exchange Platform for LIFE News and Events
    The LIFE Programme, the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action, has recently launched a new website for LIFE’s various stakeholders to share their news and events.

    The platform was kicked off on the occasion of the Natura 2000 Day, 21 May, and is intended for anyone involved in a LIFE project to easily share their news, events, photos and videos.

    8-12 June 2015
    IUFRO Tree Biotechnology Conference ‘Forests: the Importance to the Planet and Society’
    Florence, Italy
    This international forum will present and discuss new developments and ideas related to the current state and future of research in genetics, genomics and biotechnology in the forestry.
    9 June 2015
    European Agriculture, Policy and Food Security: What’s at Stake?
    Milan, Italy
    The Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission will hold this event in the context of Expo Milano 2015 ‘Feeding the planet – energy for life’ to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable farming and of the challenge of food security.
    11 June 2015
    2nd ENRD Seminar on 'RDP Implementation'
    Brussels, Belgium
    The event aims to provide new knowledge and tools to address key challenges and improve RDPs’ performance from the outset of the 2014-2020 programming period. The seminar is an integral part of the thematic work of the ENRD on ‘improving RDP implementation.’
    11-13 June 2015
    European Organic Congress
    Riga, Latvia
    This year’s edition of the congress will explore how the relevant EU legislation and the reformed CAP can be best used to support the development of the organic sector.
    12 June 2015 
    2nd Meeting of the Rural Networks’ Steering Group
    Brussels, Belgium
    Building on the inaugural meeting held in February, the 2nd Rural Networks’ Steering Group meeting will continue its co-ordination of the 2015 activities and thematic work of the ENRD and EIP-AGRI network.
    14-17 June 2015
    Efficiency in the Agri-Food Sector
    Solothurn, Switzerland
    This four-day conference will examine in detail opportunities to increase efficiency in farm management and advisory services by applying scientific theory and practice for improving the efficiency of the agricultural sector and activities in rural areas.
    15-17 June 2015
    First Innovative Enterprise week: Access to Finance for Research, Innovation and SMEs 2015
    Riga, Latvia
    This conference will explore how Horizon 2020 financial instruments support research, innovation and SMEs, as well as how these instruments complement the European Structural & Investment Funds (ESIF) and instruments available at national and local levels.
    18 June 2015
    2nd ENRD Ruralab
    Warsaw, Poland
    The second in the ENRD series of stakeholder focus groups, Ruralabs, will take place in Poland and will be jointly organised with the Polish National Rural Network (NRN). It will focus on practical aspects of the implementation of the Polish Rural Development Programme and the Polish NRN.
    18-19 June 2015
    LeaderFEST 2015
    Náchod, Czech Republic
    This event will gather Local Action Groups (LAGs) representatives to exchange experiences and good rural development practices. It is jointly organised by the Czech LAG Mezi Úpou a Metují and ELARD.
    19 June 2015
    Towards a Long-term Vision for Agricultural Research and Innovation by 2020 and beyond
    Milan, Italy
    Organised in the context of Expo Milano 2015 ‘Feeding the planet – energy for life’, this event of the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission will highlight the innovation potential of the European farming sector in view of contributing to global food security.
    22 June 2015
    Conference ‘Europe’s Multi-Purpose Countryside'
    Milan, Italy
    Organised by the RISE Foundation in the framework of Expo Milano 2015, this conference will explore how jobs and income generated through rural recreational and cultural activities can contribute to a more sustainable management of Europe’s ecosystems.
    23 June 2015
    2nd meeting of the Rural Networks’ Subgroup on Innovation
    Brussels, Belgium
    The second meeting of the Rural Networks’ Subgroup on Innovation will focus on the state-of-play of EIP-AGRI in RDPs, further elaboration of the EIP-AGRI networking activities in 2015, interlinking EIP-AGRI with H2020 and brainstorming on the first ideas for the 2016 work plan. 
    23 June 2015
    3rd meeting of Thematic Group 'RDP Implementation'
    Brussels, Belgium
    The final meeting of the thematic group will take account of the outcomes of the Seminar on the same topic of 11 June and discuss the content of the Thematic Group’s final report.
    23 June 2015
    ELARD Conference on CLLD implementation
    Brussels, Belgium
    This event will bring together rural development stakeholders from the EU institutions and various EU-level organisations to encourage dialogue between stakeholders and shareholders on the practical aspects of LEADER/CLLD implementation.
    23-24 June 2015
    Conference on Financial Instruments under the EAFRD
    Dublin, Ireland
    This event aims to improve understanding of how financial instruments can help deliver on EAFRD objectives. It will cover new initiatives such as fi-compass and EC-EIB co-operation in Agriculture and Rural Development that can additionally support the implementation of financial instruments.
    24-26 June 2015
    EDF Congress 2015 ‘25 Years of Entrepreneurship - Always Looking to the Future’
    Rostock, Germany
    The annual European Dairy Farmers Congress will bring together over 300 members and partner organisations to debate on entrepreneurial concepts for dairy farmers in the context of the end of the EU milk quota regime.
    6 July 2015
    3rd ENRD Ruralab
    Birmingham, UK
    The third in the ENRD series of stakeholder focus groups, Ruralabs, will focus on optimising how the four country networks work together at UK and EU levels to achieve benefits beyond the individual RDP levels and draw out lessons for possible wider application.
    7-9 July 2015
    International Conference ‘Mountain Forest Management in a Changing World’
    Smokovce, High Tatra Mountains, Slovakia
    The conference will discuss the potentials and limitations of current and possible future approaches to mountain forest management for providing portfolios of ecosystem services under current and future climatic and socio-economic conditions.
    15 July 2015
    ‘Innovation in Rural Tourism’ Networking Event
    Vienna, Austria
    Organised within the framework of the InRuTou project, this event will focus on the involvement of protected areas in tourism development, intergenerational practice, youth entrepreneurship and creative industries grounded in cultural heritage, project ideas and potential funding sources.
    19 July 2015
    First National Open Farm Day
    Tallin, Estonia
    The very first national Open Farm Day in Estonia will gather over 100 farms and agricultural producers from across the country in the aim of promoting agriculture and rural life.
    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.
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