ENRD Newsletter - May 2016


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  NRNs meet at Amsterdam Rural Forum  
The 5th NRNs’ Meeting and the Amsterdam Rural Forum, organised by the ENRD Contact Point and the Dutch Rural Network on 11-12 May 2016, brought together policy-makers, rural networks and creatives to explore the strong potential for arts and culture to provide a stimulus for rural development in Europe.

Workshops, performances, cycle visits, milk tastings and keynote speeches all formed part of the rich discussions and reflections on how arts and culture can bring new ways of thinking to help overcome divides, change attitudes, bring communities together and open up new opportunities for rural areas.

NRNs had specific discussions on how the networks can help support some of the main ideas presented. Key topics included identifying and sharing more inspiring examples, helping policy-makers in both culture and rural development understand the potential benefits of these approaches and developing the strong potential for LEADER Local Action Groups (LAGs) to be active in this field.
New EAFRD Projects Brochure
Read and help disseminate the new EAFRD Projects Brochure focusing on ‘Smart and Competitive Rural Areas’ now available on the ENRD website.

The Brochure presents examples of methods and approaches that have been used across Europe to deliver results on the topics of rural broadband, digital access to market, farm modernisation, market development, rural diversification and sustainable communities.

The Brochure is an output of the thematic work on smart and competitive rural areas of the ENRD Contact Point, which also includes an upcoming European Seminar in Brussels on 26 May 2016. For those interested to attend, please contact .

ENRD guidance for LAGs

The ENRD Contact Point has prepared new practical guidance for Local Action Groups (LAGs) on designing and implementing an effective Local Development Strategy (LDS).
As the 2014-2020 LAGs get approved across EU Member States, the ENRD guidance will be useful for new LAGs as it overviews the entire LDS design phase, including: consultation; essential content; objectives and measurable targets for results; management and monitoring; as well as financial planning.
Experiences from first Operational Groups

A recent EIP-AGRI event explored and shared practical experiences from the setting up of the first Operational Groups (OGs) and the early stages of their projects’ implementation.
In the 2014-2020 period a total of 3025 OGs are envisaged with funding under Measure 16 ‘Cooperation’ from 94 out of the 118 national and regional Rural Development Programmes (RDPs). See a dedicated leaflet overviewing some of the already operational partnerships.
CAP evaluation calls for tender 
The European Commission has launched a third call for tenders to evaluate CAP measures contributing to the general objective of balanced territorial development.

Launched on 25 April 2016, the deadline for submission is 1 August 2016.

This call follows similar calls on the CAP’s role in ‘viable food production’ (deadline 31 May 2016) and ‘sustainable management of natural resources and climate action’ (deadline passed).

New Climate-Agriculture portal

The new CSA Guide is a web portal presenting the climate-smart agriculture (CSA) approach to food security and sustainable development.

It is aimed at practitioners, decision-makers and researchers who work with or are interested in CSA. The interface will allow users to find a range of information and resources covering aspects including entry points to CSA, planning, finance and case studies. The website was developed by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).
Access to Land video
The documentary “Land for our Food” provides a very concrete introduction to access to land issues in Europe by capturing a range of practical experiences from UK, Spain, France, Italy and Romania.
The video features the stories of a new grower in France, next generation shepherds in the Catalan Pyrenees, farmland squatters outside Rome and a Romanian peasant trying to survive in a landscape of corporate agriculture. It was produced by the Access to Land network.
EFSI in practice

A recent ENRD workshop explored practical steps to linking the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) to the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).
Specifically, the event focused on how to effectively apply for support under the EFSI and looked into concepts of creative project opportunities. It further overviewed the process of setting up investment platforms supported under the EFSI.
EIP-AGRI Circular Economy outputs

EIP-AGRI has recently published a factsheet and infographic summarising the outcomes of work on the Circular Economy.
The outputs highlight opportunities, tools and research needs in the field. They were particularly informed by the EIP-AGRI workshop on ‘Opportunities for Agriculture and Forestry in the Circular Economy’, held on 28-29 October 2015.
A case for a European Food Policy?

A process to identify the policy tools needed to deliver sustainable food systems in Europe has been recently launched by IPES-Food.
Throughout 2016-2018, the process will involve policy-makers, civil society, grassroots organisations and scientists to produce a vision – building on the concept “Towards a Common Food Policy for the EU” - for policy reforms in the post-2020 period.
2016 Farming by Satellite Prize
The 2016 Farming by Satellite Prize is open to students and young farmers with innovative ideas for using satellite technology to improve agricultural production, efficiency and profit.
The competition is sponsored by the European GNSS Agency (GSA). Individuals and teams from universities or commercial organisations must submit case studies, new ideas or innovations that rely on EGNOS, Galileo or Copernicus. Registration closes 30 October 2016, with final submissions due by 15 December 2016.
Farmer and Forester Management Exchange
Farming Connect is currently developing a new Management Exchange programme for farmers and foresters in Wales, UK.
The organisers are now looking for farm or forestry businesses in other EU Member States which may be interested in being part of a European database of potential exchange partners.

If you know of any farms or forestry businesses who may be interested, please get in touch with Farming Connect directly by contacting Einir Davies einir.davies@menterabusnes.co.uk


23 May 2016
Beyond Wood - the Multiple Services Provided by Europe's Forests
Brussels, Belgium
The European Commission will hold a policy conference on Europe's forest ecosystem services and benefits beyond the production of wood. The event will discuss balanced approaches to preserve and appropriately manage Europe's forest ecosystems and forested landscapes. 
24-26 May 2016
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
The event will present and discuss the latest trends, innovations and issues in the application of spatial data in agriculture. It will focus on themes such as mainstreaming precision farming, space applications, ICT, Big Data and drones.
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.
30 May-3 June 2016
EU Green Week
Brussels, Belgium
The event is the biggest annual forum to discuss European Environment policy and this year’s edition will focus on the theme ‘Investing for a greener future’. It will include a special focus on ‘Investing in our countryside’ on Tuesday, 31 May.
31 May 2016
EAFRD Macro-Regional Seminar
Madrid, Spain
This fi-compass seminar will improve understanding of how Financial Instruments for agriculture and rural development can support 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
The workshop will discuss the challenges currently faced by programme authorities in the implementation of Measure 16 and explore the wide range of cooperation opportunities that the Measure offers.
1 June 2016
Space Solutions for Agriculture and Food
The Hague, The netherlands
This event will showcase a wide range of applications for agricultural producers, including for crop and soil monitoring, production forecasting, land and irrigation management, and economic application of usables.
2 June 2016
Innovation Sub-group Meeting
Brussels, Belgium
Save the date. 
2-5 June 2016
Terra Madre Balkans 2016: 'Putting Farmers First'
Tirana, Albania
The event will showcase the importance of placing small-scale food producers at the heart of the policy agenda through a series of conferences and debates on multifunctional agriculture, legal rights of small producers, social justice, rural tourism, and marketing of craft products.
8-10 June 2016
Karlova Studanka, Czech Republic
The event will gather Local Action Group (LAG) representatives and other European stakeholders dealing with LEADER/CLLD delivery to share good practices and experiences and discuss LEADER implementation in the 2014-2020 period.
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 will improve understanding of how Financial Instruments for agriculture and rural development can support 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
The workshop will look at Managing Authorities’ and National Rural Networks’ initiatives enhancing cooperation by improving coordination and complementarity between RDPs; harmonising processes rules and tools; and working with other Funds and stakeholder groups.
14 June 2016
Regional Forum for the Future of Agriculture
Vienna, Austria
The conference will focus on the issue of reconciling expectations from the agricultural sector and the environment. Specifically, it will discuss food production for global needs; the CAP in the 2020-2026 period; and sustainable land management.
16 June 2016
Rural Networks’ Steering Group Meeting
Brussels, Belgium
The 5th Steering Group (SG) meeting will discuss future activities of the European Rural Networks and ensure their relevance for SG member organisations. It will further seek to identify key questions on networks’ self-assessment.
16-17 June 2016
The Changing Role of Regulation in the Bio-based Economy
Bologna, Italy
The conference will explore the importance of a multidisciplinary approach towards regulation in the bio-based economy by looking at theoretical and methodological issues, as well as policy implications.
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 models in the agricultural sector, covering the whole food supply chain.
23-26 June 2016
Forum Synergies Civic Dialogue workshop
Knyszyń Forest, Poland
The event will explore experiences of successful stakeholder engagement on specific topics such as LEADER/CLLD, Natura 2000 or other Member State/region-specific areas.
23 June 2016
Seminar on Social Agriculture and Forestry
GAL des Plaines de l’Escaut territory (TBC), Belgium
This regional seminar jointly organised by the Wallonian Network Support Unit and Local Action Group ‘GAL des Plaines de l’Escaut’ will discuss projects targeting marginalised groups in rural areas for social and professional inclusion.
29 June 2016
National Seminar of the 2014-2020 French Rural Network
Versailles, France
The event aims to encourage national dialogue to support the implementation of Rural Development policy in France. In addition, it will seek to identify thematic priorities for the 2014-2020 French Rural Network and its animation.
1 July 2016  NEW DATE!
ENRD Seminar on Promoting the Transition to a Green Economy
Brussels, Belgium
The date of the ENRD Seminar has changed from 24 June to 1 July 2016 due to a general strike called in Belgium on 24 June. Please save the new date. Event and registration details will follow in the next few weeks.
7-8 July 2016
Environmental Entrepreneurship: a New Path towards a Better Environment
Aix-en-Provence, France
The conference will explore the key role of the environmental entrepreneur in the implementation of the circular economy.
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.
16-23 July 2016
Social Economy and Sustainable Rural Development
Karditsa, Greece
The 15th ‘EurAcademy’ will explore the contribution of social enterprises and cooperatives to rural areas. It will focus on ways to enhance their formation and trading success through best practice examples collected from across Europe.
24 July 2016
Estonian Open-Farm Day
Multiple locations, Estonia
The event will give the possibility to taste real farm food and buy local produce. Each farm has its own programme, displaying the farm’s particularities.
24-26 August 2016
LEADER Transnational Cooperation Fair
Janeda, Estonia
The event, organised by the Estonian Network Support Unit, aims to promote LEADER Cooperation. It will gather European and national-level LEADER/CLLD stakeholders, including Local Action Groups (LAGs), Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs), National Rural Networks and Managing Authorities.
5-6 September 2016
Cork 2.0: European Conference on Rural Development
Cork, Ireland
The conference will bring together rural development stakeholders from across Europe to discuss current and future challenges of farming and rural areas, as well as potential policy responses.
ENRD Contact Point
Rue de la Loi, 38 (bte 4)
B-1040 Bruxelles
+32 2 801 38 00