ENRD Newsletter - May 2015






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  LEADER/CLLD Subgroup stresses capacity building  
The first meeting of the Rural Networks’ Assembly Subgroup on LEADER/CLLD has highlighted the need for improved capacity building, peer exchange, dissemination of good practices, and improved guidelines for LEADER/CLLD stakeholders.

Held on 21 April in Brussels, the Subgroup brings together 96 representatives of Managing Authorities, National Rural Networks, Local Action Groups (LAGs) and European organisations.

The main objectives of the Subgroup are to monitor and analyse the implementation of the LEADER measure, foster transnational co-operation, identify common issues and good practices and stimulate peer learning and capacity building of LEADER/CLLD actors.

The meeting report will be made available shortly at the
event web page.
New ENRD magazine launched
The very first edition of the new ENRD networking magazine ‘Rural Connections’ is now available online.

Rural Connections provides European rural development news and updates, gives a voice to rural development stakeholders and presents reports and interviews on interesting rural development initiatives in Europe.

The magazine will be translated into French, German, Spanish, Italian and Polish. If you wish to subscribe to receive paper copies, please write to subscribe@enrd.eu. You can also order a free paper copy at any time via the EU bookshop.

Please send suggestions for topics and articles for future editions to .

    European Rural Networks’ Subgroup on Innovation kicks off

    The Subgroup on Innovation for agricultural productivity and sustainability has started its activities. It discussed the main challenges within each of the 12 priority themes for innovation and the ways in which networking can help to address these challenges.
    The Subgroup brings together 56 representatives from managing authorities, National Rural Networks, EU-wide organisations, advisory services and research institutes. It aims to mainstream innovation by identifying good practices and supporting networking among relevant actors.
    New EU Digital Single Market – what does it mean for rural areas?

    The new Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy launched by the Commission on 6 May will contribute to closing the digital gap between rural and urban areas and aim to provide fast/ultra-fast broadband on the whole of the EU territory by 2020.

    "Introducing or improving broadband coverage in rural areas is crucial for boosting growth and jobs in rural areas, enabling businesses to remain competitive, integrating rural areas into the overall economic context, and enhancing the attractiveness of rural communities,” states EU AGRI Commissioner Phil Hogan.

    National and regional RDPs can contribute by supporting the creation or improvement of broadband infrastructure. Additionally, the DSM strategy proposes a ‘one-stop shop’ concept to inform mayors of all EU broadband funding opportunities.
    ENRD Contact Point kicks off ‘Ruralabs’
    The ENRD Contact Point has held the very first of a new series of national-level initiatives, called Ruralabs. A Ruralab is a focus group of stakeholders involved in the social, economic or environmental aspects of rural development. It aims to explore practical ways in which networking can contribute to rural development practice.
    The very first Ruralab took place in Utrecht, Netherlands on 29 April and was jointly organised with the Dutch National Rural Network (Netwerk Platteland). Further Ruralabs will be organised in each EU Member State over the coming months. For further information contact john.grieve@enrd.eu.
    Taste your way through Europe
    Tasting Europe, a new web portal of Food and Gastronomy Tourism in Europe, showcases a broad range of travel experiences related to Europe’s cuisine and gastronomic traditions.

    The tourism portal aims to present Europe as an appealing destination by spreading information on new gastronomic events and festivals, as well as quality label products from 36 countries across Europe. Tourism offices and organisations are encouraged to share their products on the portal and via the hashtag #TastingEurope.
    A series of National Rural Parliaments in Eastern Europe

    National Rural Parliaments have recently or are about to take place in Croatia, Lithuania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Latvia and Estonia.
    These events aim to give a voice to rural communities in policymaking. They form part of over 30 national campaigns run by the event’s partners in each country.

    The series of national rural parliaments is also helping to build towards the European Rural Parliament due to take place in Schärding, Austria, 4-6 November 2015.

    Call for proposals on assessing potential use of financial instruments

    The European Commission has launched a call for proposals “Multi-region assistance for the assessment of the potential use of financial instruments supported by the ERDF, CF, ESF and EAFRD in accordance with Title IV of Regulation (EU) 1303/2013.”
    The call, jointly launched by DG REGIO, DG AGRI, DG EMPL and DG MARE, aims to develop the necessary knowledge base and to improve the administrative capacity of the bodies involved in the implementation of financial instruments. The deadline is 31 July 2015. Find further practical information here.

    For an information event related to the call, see also the Calendar of events.
    What support for young farmers in the new CAP?

    A new publication by DG AGRI emphasises the new types of support and tools made available to young farmers by the 2013 CAP reform.
    The reformed CAP includes improved measures to enable young farmers to effectively set up and develop their farms. The new types of support include both increased direct payments (CAP Pillar I) and business start-up aid, higher investment support rates and specific advice on how to set up a business (CAP Pillar II).
    Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for the Common Agricultural Policy
    DG AGRI has released a new publication overviewing the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Framework under the reformed CAP.
    The new publication provides details on the approach and method for carrying out M&E in the 2014-2020 period, including changes to the M&E framework in line with the CAP reforms and the overarching objective of CAP simplification.

    This work aims to help assess the performance of the CAP (now including both Pillars I and II) and will generate valuable information for the definition of policy objectives and the assessment of policy implementation post-2020.


    19 May 2015
    PRO AKIS Final Conference
    Brussels, Belgium
    The conference will present the main outcome of the PRO AKIS research project: a detailed inventory of agricultural knowledge and information systems (AKIS) and advisory organisations in the EU.


    19-20 May 2015
    Long-term Trend and Effects of Air Pollution on Forest Ecosystems, their Services, and Sustainability
    Ljubljana, Slovenia
    This scientific conference will address the effects of air pollution on tree growth, crown condition, biodiversity, ecosystem services, and the sustainability of forests.


    19-21 May 2015
    National Prosperity through Modern Rural Policy: Competitiveness and Well-being in Rural Regions
    Memphis, USA
    This rural development policy conference organised by the OECD will bring together the world’s leading policy officials, international experts and private sector representatives to discuss modern rural policies and their contribution to national growth and well-being.
    20-22 May 2015
    Infoagro Exhibition 2015
    Almería, Spain
    The first edition of the Horticultural Fair Infoagro Exhibition 2015 will bring horticultural companies from around the world together with farmers to provide the latter with insights on how to optimise their production.
    26 May 2015
    Multi-region assistance for the assessment of the potential use of financial instruments supported by the ERDF, CF, ESF and EAFRD
    Brussels, Belgium
    This information session will improve understanding of the related call for proposals. The event is aimed at potential applicants and financial institutions interested in participating in the grant actions. For further information, see the News section above.
    28 May 2015
    3rd meeting of Thematic Group 'Stakeholder Involvement'
    Brussels, Belgium
    The objective of the ENRD thematic work on ‘stakeholder involvement’ is to identify key action areas for ENRD, NRNs and European stakeholder organisations to increase stakeholder involvement in rural development implementation. Participants will discuss and plan the content of the final thematic group report.
    28-29 May 2015
    Organic Production, Research and Innovation: Setting Priorities for the Future
    Milan, Italy
    Organised in the context of Expo Milano 2015 ‘Feeding the planet – energy for life’, this conference will bring together researchers, farmers, farm advisors and other stakeholders to share ideas and knowledge on research and innovation in the organic production sector. The collected inputs will feed into further elaborating the Commission’s research and innovation policy.
    29 May 2015
    ENRD Workshop on Simplified Cost Options II
    Brussels, Belgium
    This training is aimed at Managing Authorities who have expressed their intention to use Simplified Cost Options in their RDPs. It will include an overview of basic concepts, practical exercises and good practices from the 2007-2013 period.


    1-5 June 2015
    3rd International Conference ‘Agriculture and Food'
    Burgas, Bulgaria
    This scientific conference will bring together academics and researchers to present their work on the broad topic ‘Agriculture and Food,’ which will consequently be published in the relevant section of the open access journal International Scientific Publications.
    3-4 June 2015  
    European Development Days
    Brussels, Belgium
    In the context of the European Year for Development, 2015, the European Commission will bring together government, civil society and business representatives to debate on possible solutions to shared challenges relating to poverty and human rights. Find out more about the monthly topics throughout the year, including ‘Food Security’.
    3-5 June 2015
    Green Week 2015: Nature – our Health, our Wealth
    Brussels, Belgium
    The biggest annual conference on European environment policy will focus on the theme ‘nature and biodiversity’ and include discussion topics such as sustainable farming and CAP support for nature-based tourism.


    3-5 June 2015 
    2nd Latvian Rural Communities Parliament
    Ligatne, Latvia
    The event will be held within the framework of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU and will bring together stakeholders from rural communities and policymakers to debate the topic: “Creation of preconditions for the development of small towns and rural areas.”


    3-6 June 2015
    Conference ‘Reforestation Challenges’
    Belgrade, Serbia
    The conference will gather top researchers from Europe and North America to encourage more active co-operation among researchers and practitioners. The main output of the event will be a thematic publication on the challenges and opportunities within reforestation processes.


    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 efficiency to 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.
    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’ Sub-group 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. 
    23-24 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.
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