ENRD Newsletter - March 2016


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  Unlocking the potential of the RDPs  
Explore the main outcomes from a recent ENRD Conference on ‘Unlocking the Potential of the RDPs’.

The short ‘Conference Highlights’ report presents the areas of Rural Development policy identified as offering the greatest potential for rural areas and a set of specific activities to unlock that potential. As well as general reflections from participants on these questions, it also sets out what worked well and not so well across the EU during the RDP programming process for 2014-2020.

You can also read a more detailed event report.
EU Rural Review 21 now online!
EU Rural Review 21 addresses ‘Rural Responses to Challenges in Europe’. The publication highlights not only the relevance of EU Rural Development policy to wider societal challenges, but also the practical opportunities to deliver the greatest positive impact on the ground.

The publication focuses on responses to the challenges of limited rural broadband internet access, global climate change and the current refugee crisis. It goes on to explore some of the specific opportunities provided by new and developing EU policy tools: multi-funded CLLD; the European Fund for Strategic Investments; and the RDP Cooperation Measure (M16).

EU Rural Review 21 will be translated into French, German, Spanish, Italian and Polish. If you wish to subscribe to receive paper copies, please write to specifying the quantity and language required.
Financing opportunities for rural areas

A series of recent outputs have highlighted practical opportunities for combining the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) with the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), including in rural areas.
Of particular relevance for ENRD stakeholders are the specific opportunities for strategic coordination between the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the EFSI - either at project level or through a Financial Instrument.

You can find out more details from:
  • new EU brochure on combining ESIF and EFSI;
  • Article 5 in ‘EU Rural Review 21’ overviewing the EFSI;
  • outcomes from a recent ENRD event on investment opportunities for rural areas; and
  • an EU factsheet on the state of play of EFSI support for the agricultural sector.
Climate action and the RDPs

A new study from the European Commission overviews the Rural Development Programmes’ (RDPs) potential contributions to climate action in the EU.

Looking at specific RDP Measures, it describes the anticipated net greenhouse gas emissions to help policy-makers better meet multiple social, economic and environmental objectives.
Improving LEADER/CLLD delivery
A series of ENRD events dedicated to LEADER/CLLD are aiming to enable exchange of practical experiences and build capacities of authorities in charge of LEADER delivery.

The LEADER/CLLD Sub-group meeting of 16 February discussed approaches to simplifying delivery, evaluation and innovation. Additionally, LEADER/CLLD workshops on Simplified Cost Options, Umbrella Projects, Social Inclusion, and Cooperation (upcoming) have been exploring tools and practices of various ENRD stakeholders.
NRN clusters on the agenda

The latest National Rural Networks’ (NRNs) meeting, held on 29 February-1 March in Bled, Slovenia, saw network representatives discuss common ideas and priorities for improving implementation of the Rural Development Programmes (RDPs). The idea was to identify the potential to launch joint work in smaller groups.

Networks met bilaterally in a ‘speed-dating’ session and in ‘open-space’ discussion groups to identify potential partners for joint work. They also met in three larger workshops around themes identified in a survey as of high current interest for NRNs: Measure 16 Cooperation; Smart Supply Chains; and Young Farmers.

Participants also discussed the value of independent network evaluation and specific processes for network self-assessment.

Statistical book on agriculture, forestry and fishery
A new publication by Eurostat overviews ‘Agriculture, forestry and fishery statistics’ in the EU and its Member States in 2015.
The publication covers production data, as well as aspects relevant for environmental protection and indicators such as farm size, prices of agricultural products, and production methods. An entire chapter is dedicated to the evolution of dairy statistics over the past 30 years.
Synthesis of ex ante evaluations of RDPs 2014-2020

A new report analysing and synthesising the ex ante evaluations of all 2014-2020 Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) has highlighted common trends and differences between the RDPs, leading to concrete conclusions.
Specifically, the report highlights the need for: defining adequate methodologies for establishing impacts; clarity in arrangements for control and verification; enhanced consistency between both CAP Pillars; and a closer link between RDP Measures and the Europe 2020 objectives. The dissemination of good practices, especially regarding new measures and co-ordination mechanisms, is highlighted as the key recommendation.
Steering Group strengthens joint work

The 4th Meeting of the Rural Networks’ Steering Group considered how to reinforce the complementarity of work between the ENRD and EIP-AGRI networks – as well as what needs to be done to ensure effective take-up and use of outputs by stakeholders.
Participants stressed the importance of common planning and the need for improved internal and external communication. The role of stakeholder groups – such as NRNs and sectoral bodies - as multipliers within the European networks is key.
Refugees: LEADER/CLLD good practices

LEADER projects in Punkalaidun, Finland working to successfully integrate immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers since 2011 have been recently highlighted by AEIDL. Further positive examples and transferable models are needed.
The report explains that these projects are now widely benchmarked across the country and highlights that Joutsenten Reitti, the Finnish Local Action Group (LAG) involved in these projects, is keen to explore inter-territorial or transnational cooperation projects.
Rural networking explained
Read the new ENRD booklet overviewing rural networking in Europe and share it with other rural development stakeholders.
The booklet explains the EU’s Rural Development policy and explores how networking activities through the ENRD can enable the best possible outcomes. It is currently available for online download, as well as in digital and offset printing formats in English. Translations into all official EU languages will follow soon.
Share your views on ENRD communications
Help us to improve our work by completing a short survey on ENRD Communications tools and products.
The survey offers an opportunity to quickly rate the different ENRD communications outputs for various aspects as well as to provide more detailed feedback where you wish to do so.

It only takes around 10 minutes to complete and we would be grateful if you would provide your feedback before our deadline of 31 March 2016. Thank you in advance for your input!


17-20 March 2016 
Workshop on Sustainable Forestry
Milverton, Somerset, UK
The first workshop in a series of four co-organised by Forum Synergies and EUCan will discuss and raise awareness of the wider benefits of sustainable forestry management such as climate change mitigation, flood control, biodiversity aspects, and landscape values.
22 March 2016 
9th Forum for the Future of Agriculture
Brussels, Belgium
The forum, jointly organised by the European Landowners’ Organisation (ELO) and Syngenta, aims to stimulate debate on sustainable agriculture and environmental challenges.
22 March 2016 
Financial Instruments Delivering ESI Funds
Paris, France
This seminar, part of a series covering the majority of EU Member States, will present the advantages, features and suitability of Financial Instruments in delivering the objectives of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), with a specific focus on the thematic priorities of France.
22 March 2016 
Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum
London, UK
The event will discuss priorities of the UK food, drink and farming industry in line with the newly released 25-year food and farming plan of the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
31 March 2016 
European Projects: an Opportunity for Organic Farming?
Lyon, France
This seminar will present practical examples of successfully setting up, implementing and disseminating the results of European research projects on organic farming.
31 March-2 April 2016
World Forum on Access to Land
Valencia, Spain
The event will gather a variety of social and institutional actors to address major issues linked to access to land and natural resources, and develop efficient solutions.
31 March-2 April 2016
Agricultural Exhibition ‘Ka Pasesi 2016’
Kaunas, Lithuania
This international exhibition will feature topics ranging from agricultural techniques to agricultural science and advisory services, from rural trades to agricultural publications and advertising.
31 March-2 April 2016
AgroBalt 2016
Kaunas, Lithuania
This international exhibition and related events are dedicated to topics such as food safety, agri business opportunities, agricultural and food industry technologies.
4-6 April 2016
Transforming Food and Farming through Organics
Amsterdam, Netherlands
The 10th European Organic Congress will look at how organic and agro-ecological approaches can lead future agri-food systems and contribute to the development of EU policies that fundamentally address political, environmental and societal challenges.
5-7 April 2016
Managing European Forests Responsibly - for People, Climate and Nature
Brussels, Belgium
This three-day event includes a conference, exhibition and forest excursion dedicated to sustainable forest management is organised by the European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR).
6-7 April 2016
2nd Meeting of Thematic Group on Promoting the Transition to the Green Economy
Rotterdam, the Netherlands
The two-day Thematic Group meeting will consist of an exchange of practical examples within the ‘Green Economy’ and a field visit to two relevant businesses.
7 ;April 2016
Garden to Business Forum
Sofia, Bulgaria
The event will provide a platform for establishing direct contacts between farmers, business and consumers who wish to procure wholesale local products of high quality.
12-13 April 2016
Bioeconomy Utrecht 2016
Utrecht, the Netherlands
This high-level conference is a part of the European Bioeconomy Strategy and Action Plan and will serve as an important input to the future orientation of the European Bioeconomy Strategy.
14 April 2016
Financial Instruments delivering ESI Funds
Nicosia, Cyprus
This seminar, part of a series covering the majority of EU Member States, will present the advantages, features and suitability of Financial Instruments in delivering the objectives of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), with a specific focus on the thematic priorities of Cyprus.
18-20 April 2016
Global Feed & Food Congress
Antalya, Turkey
The fifth edition of this international congress will cover the whole feed manufacturing and food processing value chain, focusing on topics such as sustainability; markets and trade; feed and food safety; and regulations and standards.
19 April 2016
ENRD Workshop on EFSI-EAFRD Complementarity and Investment Platforms
Brussels, Belgium
The event will explore practical steps to setting up investment platforms and concrete opportunities for linking the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) to the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).
19 April 2016
For a Rural Agenda in the Programming Period post 2020
Brussels, Belgium
The conference will discuss the priority given to rural territories in the context of the upcoming discussions on the EU's post-2020 programming period.
19-21 April 2016
Environmentally Smart Agriculture
Tartu, Estonia
This annual AGROFORUM brings policy makers, entrepreneurs and research institutions to tackle problems of environmentally smart agriculture (ESA) in Baltic Sea region and beyond.
20-21 April 2016
EIP-AGRI Workshop 'Operational Groups: First Experiences'
Legnaro, Italy
This invite-only workshop is dedicated to exploring and sharing the practical experiences of the first Operational Groups (OGs), from setting up partnerships around concrete projects to implementing them.
20-21 April 2016
Improving Verifications and Controls in ESI Funds 2014-2020
Warsaw, Poland
This practical seminar will bring together representatives from Managing Authorities, implementing bodies, and auditors to discuss ways to improve verification and control systems under the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds).
21 April 2016
Bio-based Industries JU Info Day on Calls for Proposals
Brussels, Belgium
The event will provide information on how to apply for funding under the 2016 call for proposals for actions contributing to the bio-economy and the renewable circular economy.
27 April 2016
3rd Meeting of Thematic Group on Smart and Competitive Rural Areas
Brussels, Belgium
The meeting will focus on programming issues through an exchange of case studies from specific countries and regions.
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 - 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.
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.
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.
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 opportunities for smart and competitive supply chains under the Rural Development Programmes.
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
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.
2 June 2016
Innovation Sub-group Meeting
Brussels, Belgium
Save the date. More details to follow.
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.
ENRD Contact Point
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