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  The new ENRD Contact Point is launched!  
The ENRD Contact Point (ENRD CP) for the 2014-2020 programming period has started its activities.

The new ENRD CP will focus on ever-more targeted support to rural development stakeholders. It will work to identify needs more clearly, prioritising and coordinating all the networking activities and tools to deliver real progress on RDP delivery. “We will work with you to make sure what we do is useful,” promises the new ENRD CP Team Leader, Paul Soto.

The ENRD CP aims thus to support achievement of the ENRD’s strategic goals for 2014-20: to increase the involvement of all stakeholders in rural development policy; to inform a broader public on the benefits of rural development policy; and, ultimately, to improve the quality of delivery of the rural development programmes.

We are redeveloping the ENRD website to go live later in the year. In the meantime, for full ENRD-CP contact details and to meet the new team, please click here.
First NRN meeting of 2014-20: 5-6 November 2014
The ENRD Contact Point is organising the first NRN meeting of the 2014-20 programming period in Brussels, 5-6 November 2014.

The main aim of the meeting is to develop a shared understanding of how the rural networks and ENRD can best work together to achieve their common objectives in the new period.

Participants – mainly National Support Unit (NSU) representatives - have been invited from within the NRNs. The event will see presentations and discussions around the role and objectives of rural networks and the Contact Point, leading into opportunities for networking and exchange, including a social event and interactive sessions examining how to work together in practice.

Please click for further information.
EIP-AGRI launches new website
The European Innovation Partnership on Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability (EIP-AGRI) has launched its new website: www.eip-agri.eu.

We encourage rural stakeholders to visit the website, which provides a central resource aimed at connecting people to speed up innovation in agriculture.

The main objectives of the EIP-AGRI network are to connect EIP Operational Groups and multi-actor projects, to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, expertise and good practices and to establish a dialogue between the farming and the research community.

The EIP-AGRI network works in close collaboration with the ENRD, aiming to better connect all rural and innovation stakeholders.

Strengthening the RDP contribution to healthier environments
European stakeholders have agreed that further work is needed to enhance the contribution of rural development programmes (RDPs) to healthy environments in Europe.

This was the main conclusion of a conference organised by environmental organisations at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels, 15 September 2014.

The conference reviewed how the proposed national and regional RDPs 2014-20 are addressing environmental and climate change objectives in line with two of the EU’s six priorities for rural development 2014-20: restoring and enhancing ecosystems; and promoting resource efficiency.

Presentations from the event are available here and a full report will soon be made available on the EEB website.

Future of LEADER is hot topic across Europe

The start of the 2014-20 programming period has been marked by several events at European, national and regional levels discussing the challenges and priorities for the LEADER approach.

Many national or regional LEADER events have already taken place, including in Asturias (Spain); Prague (Czech Republic), and the General Assembly of LEADER France.

A Public Hearing of the European Economic and Social Committee on Community Led Local Development (CLLD) on 29 September 2014 looked at the issues of “partnership, transparency, effectiveness and anti-corruption.” The EESC presented its opinion on CLLD which highlighted that “The LEADER approach has 
its viability over the past twenty years” and that the new CLLD approach “can have a real added value in the efforts to promote economic and social cohesion”. 

In the calendar of events, you will also see an international conference marking 10 years of LEADER in Lithuania, a LEADER seminar in Dinan, France, as well as a regional LEADER event in Andalusia. 

How to develop your local development strategy
The Swedish Managing Authority has developed a useful guide for the preparation of CLLD strategies in the new programming period.

It provides a template into which LAGs can input their own text to set out and define elements of their local development strategy, including vision, action areas, collaboration between funds, and communication plans.

The template was created in Swedish but is also now available in English.

Exploring results-based agri-environment payment schemes
Results-based approaches are a promising delivery tool for agri-environment schemes in Europe.

This was the conclusion of a two-day conference (23-24 September) dedicated to exploring the potential to improve biodiversity delivery in agriculture by paying directly for the results achieved.

The conference marked the first coming together of the RBAPS community of practice developed through a European project involving farmers’ organisations, agricultural ministries, nature conservation groups etc.

For more information on the benefits and practice of RBAPS and to access the “how to” guide and other support tools, please click here.

Apply to the 2014 CAP Communication Awards
The Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission is now inviting applications for this year’s edition of the CAP Communication Awards.

The competition rewards the best communication initiatives in the field of agriculture, food and rural development related to the Common Agricultural Policy.

Individuals and organisations from both the public and private sectors are invited to submit their communication actions and campaigns before this year’s deadline of 31 October 2014. The winning and shortlisted projects will be invited to a special networking event on 29 January 2015 in Brussels.

For more information and to apply, please click here. You can also see good practice examples from the 2012 and 2013 editions of the competition.

European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development
The Irish politician Phil Hogan has been named Commissioner-designate for Agriculture and Rural Development by the Commission President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker.

Click for more information on the new Juncker Commission and the Mission Letter sent to Phil Hogan. Click to learn more about Phil Hogan, to see his written responses to European Parliament questions and to watch his opening statement at his European Parliament hearing.

  15 – 16 October 2014
10 years of LEADER in Lithuania
Anykščiai, Lithuania
This international conference will bring together experiences in the implementation of the LEADER method, as well as innovative ideas and opportunities for the use of LEADER instruments.
  16 – 17 October 2014
LEADER at the heart of the Rural Network
Dinan, France
This thematic seminar will examine various viewpoints on LAG actions and the work of national thematic groups within the French NRN.
  22 – 23 October 2014
Seville, Spain
The conference aims to analyse LEADER experiences from the 2007-2013 period and bring together proposals from Spanish regions for the next seven years.
  31 October 2014
2014 CAP Communication Awards deadline
Application deadline for the CAP Communication Awards showcasing the best communication initiatives in the field of agriculture, food and rural development.
  5 – 6 November 2014
First NRN Meeting of 2014-20
Brussels, Belgium
The goal of the meeting is to develop a shared understanding of how the NRNs and the ENRD Contact Point can work together most effectively to achieve common objectives.
  6 – 8 November 2014
Scottish Rural Parliament
Oban, Scotland
The first ever Scottish Rural Parliament will bring together policy makers and the people of rural Scotland in the aim of addressing rural issues and improving policy making.
  5 – 8 November 2014
Land: quality of life
Barcelona, Spain
The first European Land Stewardship Congress is the culminating event of the Landlife Project and will focus on land stewardship, nature conservation, and natural resource management.
  10 – 11 November 2014
11th CEDIA European Conference
Brussels, Belgium
The conference will focus on the role of agronomists in providing expert advice on rural development issues. The event is co-organised by the Italian Presidency of the EU.
  11 December 2014
Rural Networks Assembly
Brussels, Belgium
The first Rural Networks Assembly has been provisionally planned to take place on 11 December 2014 in Brussels, Belgium.
ENRD Contact Point
Rue de la Loi, 38 (bte 4)
B-1040 Bruxelles
+32 2 801 38 00
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