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Communicating Rural Development


Communication is a vital support to the implementation of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) , helping EU Member States promote rural development policy.

Each EU Rural Development Programme is required to include a communications action plan. This is vital to ensure that beneficiaries are aware of and understand how to access the funds available and also for European citizens to learn about the concrete benefits generated by EU rural development policy.

Communications approach

Communicating the EAFRD should reflect the European Commission’s overall approach to communication, which is based on three main principles:

  1. Listening to the public - taking their views and concerns into account; communication is a dialogue, not a one-way street. It is not just about informing EU citizens but it is also about citizens expressing their opinions so that the European Commission can understand their perceptions and concerns
  2. Explaining how policies, programmes and projects affect peoples’ everyday lives in a manner that people can understand and relate to if citizens are to follow political developments at European level.
  3. And Connecting with people locally – addressing them in their national or local settings, through their favourite media

The communications activities of the EAFRD, both at European and national level, are meant to be in line with the overall communication strategy of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI). With the appointment of the current Commission in 2010, a new strategy was established to be in line with the communication challenges for the period 2010-2015, mainly the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the new programming phase 2014-2020. The identification and collection of concrete examples and success stories from a diverse range of topics and Member States, is crucial for an effective communication to both beneficiaries and the wider audience.

Dissemination of Project Examples

The ENRD disseminates relevant project examples from RDPs being implemented all across Europe through multiple means, including:

  • EAFRD Project brochures , a collection of RDP projects stories published on different themes and in 6 languages
  • RDP project database which brings together project examples from all 27 EU Member States in a concise `postcard` format.
  • RDP projects videos, available soon

NRN Thematic Initiative

The ENRD has launched a NRN Communications thematic initiative with the aim of fostering exchange of best practices in the way Member states communicate their RDPs and EAFRD in general . Furthermore, the initiatives aims at displaying to a wider audience the achievements and challenges in implementing rural development policies at local level using the vast array of products, tools, publications, campaigns which are available all across Europe and which have been funded under the EAFRD.

The following concrete outputs from this initiative are the following:

  • Organisation of a dedicated 12th NRN meeting on communications on 28th June 2011. Click here
  • Organisation of a dedicated conference “Communicating Rural development to citizens” in Milan on 17-18 November , promoted by the Italian NRN. Click here
  • Setting up of a network of rural development communication experts at Member State level. Click here
  • Joint NRN participation at the “International Green week Berlin” and “Paris International Agricultural Show” fairs
  • Setting up of an “EAFRD Information and publicity gateway”, a searchable database of communication tools and practices across all Europe to promote EAFRD funding , available soon
  • Publication of an ENRD Communications brochure showing how communication is an important instrument for concentrating RDP efforts on new challenges and encouraging greater uptake of EAFRD opportunities.