European Network for Rural Development and Evaluation Help Desk

23rd National Rural Networks meeting: Highlights Report

This is the highlights report of the 23rd National Rural Networks meeting held on 21 September 2022.

The meeting aimed to discuss the role of CAP networks in supporting green architecture of the CAP, explore approaches on how can NSUs strengthen innovation support, provide an update on rural networking activities and have working sessions on networking activities, including the Rural Inspiration Awards Cluster vote.

ENRD Workshop on Implementing the CAP Green Architecture: Highlights Report

This is the highlights report of the ENRD Workshop on Implementing the CAP Green Architecture held on 15 September 2022.

The meeting aimed to explore approaches and possible solutions for maximising environmental and climate ambition through the range of interventions Member States are planning to use within their CSPs.

1st meeting of the Thematic Group on Organic food supply chains: Highlights Report

This is the highlights report of the 1st meeting of the Thematic Group on Strengthening the position of farmers in the organic food supply chain held on 15 September 2022.

The meeting aimed to take stock of the policy & regulatory framework for organic value chains and begin to identify the key enabling conditions and barriers to strengthen the role of organic producers in the organic value chain.

Upscaling carbon farming in the EU

This factsheet includes ideas and examples resulting from the 2nd meeting of ENRD’s Thematic Group on Carbon Farming (TG). It explored the challenges and opportunities involved with upscaling carbon farming in the EU, and presented key factors that would increase farmers’ motivation to engage with carbon farming and enhance actors’ knowledge about which carbon farming practices would be most  adequate for them. The group also identified policy challenges associated with taking action in these areas.

17th Rural Networks Steering Group: Meeting report

The 17th Rural Networks Steering Group Meeting took place virtually on 16 April 2022 to update SG members on EU Policy Initiatives and updates on future networking activities

Measuring climate mitigation contributions from CAP-funded agri-food action

This article gives an overview of the range of financial support available through CAP Strategic Plans (CSPs) for agri-food climate action. This funding can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase stored carbon in soil and biomass.

Cooperation fosters food chain resilience

This article looks at key resilience lessons related to the benefits of cooperation between food chain actors who can receive various forms of support from the EU.

Our food systems have been shocked in recent times by unexpected pandemic difficulties. Whilst these problems have posed considerable new challenges for food security, they have forced our food industry to adapt and learn valuable lessons.

Deploying data as digital soil

This policy insights article focuses on the value of data in making informed decisions concerning food system transitions, tackling environmental challenges and supporting rural communities.

Protecting pollinators from pesticides

This policy insights article focuses on the protecting pollinators from pesticides. Around € 3.7 billion of the EU’s annual agricultural output is directly dependent on insect pollinators, but in recent decades the population of European wild-insect pollinators (bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and moths) has suffered significant declines. Modernising the way Europe’s farms use pesticides will be a game changing solution to halt this negative trend.

Connecting networks through clusters

This policy insights article focuses on connecting networks through clusters. Clusters are networks that unite stakeholders with mutual interests to work together to achieve benefits that could not be possible by the individual cluster member working alone. National Rural Networks (NRNs) have recognised these benefits and continue to build on their history of cooperation through regional clusters connecting rural Europe.

Farm to Fork Strategy and cooperation in the agri-food supply chain: Highlights Report

This is the highlights report of the Farm to Fork Strategy and cooperation in the agri-food supply chain workshop which took place on 2 December 2021.

​Rural Connections magazine 2/2021

This edition focuses on Rural Vision Week, a five-day interactive online conference focused on involving stakeholders with preparations for a long-term vision for the future of EU rural areas.

Rural development stakeholders from across Europe look at the future of their territories and of rural Europe, sharing their views on the role of rural youth, the importance of broadband development and the use of LEADER to support cultural projects.

EU Rural Review 32 ‘Long-term Vision for rural areas’

This edition of the EU Rural Review  looks at the future of rural areas in digital, environmental and social terms, as well as in terms of resilience.
The content builds on the outcomes of the ENRD work on the Long-Term Rural Vision and of Rural Vision Week.

LEADER – 30 years and preparing for the future

This is the highlights report of the ENRD Seminar ‘LEADER – 30 years and preparing for the future’ (3 June 2021).

The workshop explored LEADER’s positive, long-term impacts in rural areas and discussed how its added-value can be maximised in the future through better partnerships, local development strategies, and local projects and initiatives under the CAP Strategic Plans.

Rural Vision Week

This is the highlights report of the ENRD Rural Vision Week (March 2021), a five-day interactive online conference focused on involving stakeholders with preparations for a long-term vision for the future of EU rural areas.

More than 550 stakeholders participated directly during the event and its online outreach connected with thousands more through social media. This document summarises the key messages from the event.

EU Rural Review 31 ‘Rural social economy’

An economy that puts people and the planet first is highly relevant to rural areas, where it can improve access to basic services, create jobs and foster social inclusion while promoting the digital and green transition.

This edition of the EU Rural Review explores the main features of the social economy, highlighting its relevance for European rural areas and European policy objectives (including the EU Green Deal, the European Pillar of Social Rights and the Digital Agenda for Europe).

Rural Connections magazine ​1/2021​

This edition focuses on how to communicate successfully about rural development projects, based on the NRN’s work and the Rural Inspiration Awards.

Articles by rural development stakeholders across Europe range from social farming to LEADER enhancing a Greek island’s intangible cultural heritage, to the state of the digital transition in rural areas

Effective approaches for facilitating a transition to clean energy inthe agriculture and forestry sectors using the CAP

This factsheet suggests how Member States could support the transition to clean energy in the agriculture and forestry sectors through the choices they make in designing and implementing their CAP Strategic Plans (CSPs), in particular to meet the new CAP’s specific objectives of ‘contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation and also to sustainable energy’. Ideas and examples emerging from the ENRD’s Thematic Group (TG) on the European Green Deal and Rural Areas are presented as a source of inspiration for Member States’ Managing Authorities (MA) and stakeholders.

EU Rural Review 30 ‘Climate action in rural areas’

Climate action, particularly climate change mitigation, can provide opportunities for the primary sector, rural communities and businesses to become more sustainable, resilient and competitive. These rural development stakeholders can make a major contribution to the European Green Deal, the roadmap for a sustainable EU economy.

This edition of the EU Rural Review looks at how rural areas are making significant contributions towards climate action, also thanks to EAFRD support.

Delivering Climate Change Mitigation and Rural Development – Lessonsfrom EAFRD Support 2014-2020

Achieving greater climate (and environmental) ambition is a key objective of the CAP revision. Member States must ensure that their CAP Strategic Plans (CSPs) demonstrate greater overall ambition towards the achievement of the CAP’s environmental and climate objectives, when compared to the previous programming period.

Rural Connections magazine 2/2020​

This edition focuses on the link between environment, the new CAP and the European Green Deal and brings the finalists of the Rural Inspiration Awards 2020 back into the spotlight.

Rural development stakeholders share their views on, among others, women in agriculture, renewable energies and the role of heritage for rural regeneration. The News section includes an overview of recent EU developments and ENRD activities, including the new ENRD tool ‘Share your rural story‘.

Assessing the Use of Pesticides in the Estonian RDP 2014-2020

This factsheet focuses on the assessment of pesticide utilisation load in Estonia.

Working Package 1: Topic 4 – Quantification of LEADER/CLLD contributions and measuring their secondary effects

This document specifically highlights issues related to the quantification of LEADER/CLLD contributions and measuring their secondary effects in the 2014-2020 programming period.

Evaluating the Impact of the CAP on Habitats, Landscapes and Biodiversity in Europe: Highlights from the Approach

This factsheet focuses on the approach and methodologies used in the evaluation support study published by the European Commission on the impact of the CAP on habitats, landscapes, and biodiversity.

EAFRD Projects Brochure ‘Rural Inspiration Awards 2019

This Projects Brochure brings the 25 finalists of the Rural Inspiration Awards (RIA) 2019 back into the spotlight. It gives well‑deserved visibility to their projects, provides updates on their achievements, and hopes to inspire new projects.

The RIA 2019 were the first EU-wide rural development good practice competition organised by the ENRD in the 2014-2020 programming period. This initiative celebrated projects that are using funding from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) in an inspiring way to make European rural areas more competitive, sustainable and inclusive

Smart Villages and the European Green Deal: making the connections

This document shows that smart rural communities are already providing inspiring examples of how to address each of the challenges identified in the European Green Deal at local level. It has been produced by and contains the personal reflections of Professor Bill Slee, an active member of the ENRD Thematic Group on Smart Villages.

Rural Connections magazine 1/2020

This edition focuses on good practices in the use of EAFRD funding and gives an overview of different approaches to the collection and dissemination of EAFRD-funded projects at the national level.

Rural development stakeholders share their perspectives on a variety of topics, from populism in rural areas to to an agro-ecology project in the Netherlands, from a sociologist’s view on networking to Results Based Payment Schemes, with a detour through (fictional) rural crimes. The magazine includes the usual news round-up from the EU and European networks.

EAFRD Projects Brochure ‘Vibrant Rural Areas’​

This edition of the EAFRD Projects Brochure presents EAFRD-supported projects from the 2014-2020 RDPs that have successfully improved services, jobs or social inclusion in rural areas – sometimes achieving more than was initially planned.

The publication shows how social objectives can go hand in hand with economic and environmental sustainability and that vibrant rural areas are essential for all, including for farmers and urban citizens.

Rural Connections Magazine, Spring/Summer 2019 Edition

This edition focuses on networX – the Brussels meeting on 11-12 April 2019 was the largest gathering of the rural development networking community in the current programming period. The key messages from networX are highlighted as are the winners of the first ever ENRD Rural Inspiration Awards.

Members of the Rural Development community who are making a positive difference in rural areas are featured in the ‘Rural perspectives’ section, including great examples of social and digital communications – from Ireland and at European level – and transnational cooperation projects in the tourism sector targeting a new kind of tourist and a report detailing the positive impact of the CAP on rural development in Poland. The regular news round-up includes the latest on the ENRD’s thematic work on Smart Villages and the Bioeconomy and a report on new rural credit services.

EAFRD Projects Brochure ‘Youth and Generational Renewal’

This edition of the EAFRD Projects Brochure presents twelve projects that show how Rural Development policy is helping to make rural areas more attractive places for young people to live and work, in agriculture and beyond.

Youth in rural areas, and young farmers in particular, enhance rural vitality and pave the way for stronger value chains and rural prosperity. Generational renewal is one of the preconditions for improved competitiveness of the agricultural sector over the longer term and for sustainable food production in Europe.

EU Rural Review 28 ‘Bioeconomy’​

The theme of this EU Rural Review is ‘mainstreaming the bioeconomy’.

With the spotlight firmly focused on how society can manage its natural resources in a sustainable way, rural areas around Europe are increasingly getting primed and ready to reap the benefits of the bioeconomy. This publication looks at the major role played by the new EU Bioeconomy Strategy as well as the importance of local and regional actors to enhance the development of the bioeconomy.

The content of the publication has been informed by the work of the ENRD Thematic Group on ‘Mainstreaming the Bioeconomy‘.​

Rural Evaluation News – Issue Number 14

Discover articles on: Evaluation Activities in 2019

  • ​Towards the New Delivery Model: From the Croatian National Agriculture and Rural Development Strategy to the country’s CAP Strategic Plan
  • ​Using evaluations as a way for strategic learning: Interview with the Lithuanian NRN
  • ​The Eleventh Good Practice Workshop: Appraising the intervention strategies under the CAP: experiences and outlook

EAFRD Projects Brochure ‘Bioeconomy’​

This edition of the EAFRD Projects Brochure illustrates how the mainstreaming of the bioeconomy is being accelerated by Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) around Europe.

A sustainable bioeconomy, while it benefits everyone, has particular relevance for rural communities. The twelve projects featured in this Projects Brochure illustrate how RDPs are helping rural communities seize the opportunities offered by the bioeconomy through the production of sustainable food and feed, innovative bio-based products, renewable energy, environmentally sustainable growth and awareness raising.

EU Rural Review 27 Networking

This issue of the EU Rural Review examines the role of networking in rural development policy. It traces how networking has evolved to become a defining characteristic of rural development in Europe.

All types of rural stakeholders interact in today’s increasingly diverse networking ecosystem. The publication concludes by considering how Networking will continue to evolve under the future policy environment.​

Rural Connections Magazine, Autumn/Winter 2018 Edition

This edition focuses on communications uncovering the latest thinking from rural networkers while profiling some great examples of communication using digital channels, on-farm knowledge exchange and marketing initiatives to support Rural Development policy implementation.

Rural Connections Magazine, Spring/Summer 2018 Edition

This edition focuses on the topic of ‘Generational Renewal’ in rural development, exploring what is being done to welcome and support a new generation of farmers, including through the European Commission’s legislative proposals for the post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

EAFRD Projects Brochure ‘Digital and Social Innovation in Rural Services’

This edition of the EAFRD Projects Brochure profiles twelve participatory social and digital initiatives that are enhancing rural services in six key areas: multi-service hubs; health, education; mobility; energy; and digitisation of the village itself.

The examples showcase how rural communities can sometimes respond to the challenges they face faster than policy, using innovative funding solutions such as private sector investment and crowdfunding.

EAFRD Projects Brochure ‘Resource-Efficient Rural Economies’

This edition of the EAFRD Projects Brochure explores how Rural Development Programme (RDP) funding – co-financed by the EAFRD – has been used to support the sustainable use of natural resources, particularly water and soil.

The concept of resource efficiency is based on the idea of ‘doing more with less’. In this context, the projects featured in this edition highlight inspiring practices of creating greater economic and environmental value from fewer inputs.

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