ENRD Newsletter - April 2016

ENRD Newsletter

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  Rural Connections Spring 2016  
The spring 2016 edition of the ENRD networking magazine ‘Rural Connections’ is now available in English on the ENRD website.

This edition features stakeholder perspectives on issues including the recent European Rural Parliament, rural entrepreneurship, Roma in rural areas, rural resilience, creative rural regeneration and the implications for agriculture of the new global climate deal.

Along with updates and news from the EU and the European Rural Networks, the thematic section provides a ‘Focus on LEADER cooperation’ examining inter-regional, inter-fund and third country cooperation, as well as harmonisation of application processes.

Please send your ideas and suggestions for future topics and articles to
Subscribe to receive paper copies of future editions for free in any of six languages (EN, FR, DE, IT, ES, PL) by writing to .
Social Inclusion in rural areas
A recent ENRD workshop explored opportunities provided by the Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) for improving social inclusion in rural areas. Specifically, it examined LEADER/CLLD and rural networking approaches, tools and practices of effective social inclusion.

The event identified and discussed good practices for integrating migrants and asylum seekers, young people, Roma, and women into rural life and employment, with a particular focus on bottom-up initiatives. See the event webpage for a series of factsheets on many of these topics.

Participants discussed specific actions under the RDPs that could further support social inclusion of groups at risk of marginalisation, highlighting the contributions that Local Action Groups (LAGs) and Network Support Units’ (NSUs) can make.

The ENRD Contact Point will continue to collect good practice examples on this topic and explore how opportunities provided by the RDPs are realised across EU Member States.

Detailed study reveals young farmers’ needs

An EU-funded pilot project on exchange programmes for young farmers has delivered a detailed report highlighting the needs of young farmers, an overview of exchange schemes for young farmers and a guide for successful exchange schemes.
Extensive interviews with more than 2200 young farmers across the EU found that around 61% consider the availability of land for purchase and 57% the availability of land for rent as amongst the most difficult challenges they face. In addition to the EU level report, a series of country reports and national factsheets are available.

If you are interested in joining an ENRD-supported ‘Community of Practice’ on Young Farmers, contact .

Selection criteria for Rural Development projects

A recent ENRD workshop examined the definition, use, and communication of selection criteria for projects. It aimed to contribute to effective use of selection criteria to achieve a result-oriented implementation of Rural Development Programmes (RDPs).
Visit the event webpage to explore practical experiences of how relevant authorities from across the EU have defined and applied selection criteria, consulted Monitoring Committees, and communicated to potential beneficiaries. You can also gain insights from the European Court of Auditors and DG AGRI auditors’ perspectives on selection criteria.

The Contact Point will soon be producing a set of FAQs on Selection Criteria and the Commission will be updating its guidance.
Risk Management provisions in agriculture 
A new study overviews risk management provisions in the 2014-2020 Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) to assess their design and scope, as well as their potential limitations and efficiency.

The study, commissioned by a European Parliament research unit, examines similarities and differences in risk management tools of different RDPs. It goes on to examine future CAP developments related to risk management and concludes with a set of recommendations to address future income uncertainties and market volatility.
Call for projects in Georgia

The European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development in Georgia (ENPARD Georgia) recently published a call for proposals for pilot rural development measures (phase II).

The pilot measures will focus on diversification of the rural economy, including viable off-farm economic activities and sustainable management of environmental resources. Read further details of the call, which has a total budget of €14 million. Concept notes must be submitted by 16 May 2016.
EU food waste levels
The European project FUSIONS has published EU-28 estimates of EU food waste levels and a Food Waste Quantification Manual.
The project estimates that 20% of the total food produced in the EU ends up as waste, generating a total of about 88 million tonnes of food waste per year. The Manual aims to help Member States to monitor and ultimately to reduce food waste at each stage of the supply chain.
First Financial Instrument under 2014-2020 RDPs

Estonia has launched the first Financial Instrument (FI) under the 2014-2020 Rural Development Programmes (RDPs). The FI will facilitate loans and credit arrangements for agriculture and rural areas in the country.
The FI is intended to support agriculture, processing and marketing of agricultural products, as well as investments into diversification of the rural economy towards non-agricultural activities.
How to access the EFSI?

A set of new outputs overview practical steps to using the new European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) to achieve Rural Development objectives.
  • A new ENRD publication answers practical questions on how to apply for EFSI funding, how to implement an EFSI project and how to make good use of the EFSI advisory and supporting structures. 
  • A series of summaries available in all official EU languages explain how to strategically combine the EFSI with the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds).
  • The outputs of a recent ENRD event explore practical steps to linking the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) to the EFSI.
For additional information on the EFSI, also see Article 5 of the recently published ‘EU Rural Review No.21’.
Inspiring LEADER video from Scotland

The Scottish Rural Network has published a new video presenting six of the most inspiring LEADER projects funded during the previous period (2007 – 2013).
The video was shown during at the recent Scottish LEADER Conference 2016, where around 200 people involved in delivering LEADER gathered to share knowledge, experience and ideas. Workshops focused on farm diversification, building community capacity, youth initiatives and LEADER cooperation.
CAP context indicators updated
The European Commission has recently updated the CAP context indicators based on the latest figures available at the end of 2015.
The set of 45 context indicators reflect economic, environmental and societal aspects that are likely to have an impact on the implementation, achievements and performance of the CAP.
Responsible agricultural supply chains
A new guidance document from the OECD and FAO has been developed to help companies observe existing standards for responsible conduct along agricultural supply chains.
The guidance covers upstream and downstream agricultural sectors from input supply to production, post-harvest handling, processing, transportation, marketing, distribution and retailing.

21-24 April 2016
Jucu, Romania
The 2016 edition of the AGRARIA international trade fair for agriculture will provide a platform for exchange of knowledge and experience for agribusiness with focus on agricultural equipment and animal breeding. 
27 April 2016
3rd Meeting of Thematic Group on Smart and Competitive Rural Areas
Brussels, Belgium
The meeting will discuss regional, national and city policies on food and drink, and how these fit with regional Rural Development Programmes, influencing food and drink supply chains.
28-29 April 2016
Agriculture, Water and Climate Change. Present & Future Challenges for EU Regions
Badajoz, Extremadura, Spain
This conference will bring together the main actors of the agro industry sector to discuss the main challenges and opportunities for agriculture and climate change mitigation, with a focus on the latest developments in the field of irrigation efficiency.
29 April 2016
Bioeconomy – Challenges for the EU Regions
Brussels, Belgium
This thematic seminar will foster exchange of information and best practice on Bioeconomy-related Research and Innovation. Registration closes on 26 April 2016. 
29 April - 3 May 2016
Ovibeja Agicultural Fair
Beja, Portugal
The most important agricultural fair in Portugal will present an opportunity for exhibitors and visitors to establish important business connections and promote local and national agricultural products.
4 May 2016
Workshop for Public Procurers in the Environmental Sector
Rome, Italy
The event will highlight the benefits of innovation procurement of ICT solutions via discussions on and presentations of EU funding opportunities under Horizon 2020, case examples and lessons learned.
9-10 May 2016
World Food Research and Innovation Forum
Parma, Italy
The Forum provides a permanent platform to national and international policy-makers, as well as the research, business and finance communities to share strategies and effective initiatives on issues relating to food security, food safety and sustainability.
11-12 May 2016
National Rural Networks’ Meeting
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
The 5th NRNs’ meeting, linked to the Amsterdam Rural Forum, will explore how the networks can improve their stakeholder involvement practices through efficient communication, as well as how networking can improve urban-rural and ‘agri-cultural’ linkages.
17 May 2016
3rd Meeting of Thematic Group on ‘Promoting the Transition to a Green Economy’
Brussels, Belgium
The meeting will focus on ‘making the Green Economy work’, specifically, how practical examples addressing the Green Economy can be incorporated into the Rural Development Programmes (RDPs).
18-19 May 2016
EU Funds 2014-2020: Increasing the Efficiency of Communication Activities
Warsaw, Poland
This practical seminar will provide a platform for exchange of practical experiences and case studies on efficient communication, including involving stakeholders, mapping out target groups and assessing the effectiveness of communication actions.
19-20 May 2016
Agri-Food Value Chain: Challenges for Natural Resources Management and Society
Nitra, the Slovak Republic
The conference will gather policy-makers, top managers, academics and researches to discuss the economic aspects of agri-food chains and natural resources management.
26 May 2016
ENRD Seminar on Smart and Competitive Rural Areas
Brussels, Belgium
The event will reflect on the thematic work of the ENRD Contact Point over the past year by exploring how smart specialisation, strategy and policy can be integrated within the Rural Development Programmes to make an effective and positive change throughout the supply chain.
27-29 May 2016
Swedish Rural Parliament
Visby, Sweden
This bi-annual forum brings together rural development stakeholders from across Sweden to exchange on current issues and opportunities for ensuring vital countryside and rural economy.
31 May 2016
EAFRD Macro-Regional Seminar
Madrid, Spain
This fi-compass seminar aims to improve understanding of how Financial Instruments for agriculture and rural development can support the delivery of the objectives of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) in the 2014-2020 period. 
31 May 2016
Workshop for Public Procurers in General Administration and EGovernment
Barcelona, Spain
The event will highlight the benefits of innovation procurement of ICT solutions via discussions on and presentations of EU funding opportunities under Horizon 2020, case examples and lessons learned.
31 May-2 June 2016
Conservation Agriculture and Sustainable Land Use
Budapest, Hungary
This international conference will gather scientists to discuss the issues and opportunities for further development in the field of conservation agriculture and sustainable land use.
1 June 2016
ENRD Workshop on Measure 16 'Cooperation'
Brussels, Belgium
Save the date. More details to follow.
2 June 2016
Innovation Sub-group Meeting
Brussels, Belgium
Save the date. More details to follow.
9-10 June 2016
Sustainable Foods Summit
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
The European edition of the summit will bring together leading organisations involved in eco-labels and sustainability in the food industry to discuss sustainable ingredients, food waste and marketing developments.
13 June 2016
EAFRD Macro-Regional Seminar
Rome, Italy
This fi-compass seminar aims to improve understanding of how Financial Instruments for agriculture and rural development can support the delivery of the objectives of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) in the 2014-2020 period. 
14 June 2016
ENRD Workshop on LEADER/CLLD Cooperation
Brussels, Belgium
Save the date. More details to follow.
16 June 2016
Rural Networks’ Steering Group Meeting
Brussels, Belgium
Save the date. More details to follow.
19-23 June 2016
Innovation Support for a Diverse Agriculture
Limerick, Ireland
This EUFRAS/IALB conference offers rural professionals the opportunity to gain new knowledge, skills and perspectives on the current challenges facing farming and agriculture through plenary sessions, farm visits and highly interactive workshops.
22-23 June 2016
Data Revolution: Emerging New Business Models in the Agri-food Sector
Sofia, Bulgaria
This EIP-AGRI seminar will enable an exchange of ideas for and experiences with data-driven business model in the agricultural sector, including the whole supply chain.
24 June 2016
ENRD Seminar on Promoting the Transition to a Green Economy
Brussels, Belgium
Save the date. More details to follow.
15 July 2016
12th European IFSA Symposium
Shropshire, UK
The symposium will discuss social and technological transformation of farming systems, focusing on topics such as innovation, knowledge and learning processes; methodology and frameworks of farming systems’ transformation; and sustainable agri-food systems.
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