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Agricultural Policy and Rural Development

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Rural Carrefours

European Union information and
coordination centres in rural areas


Official title

"European Rural Information and Promotion Carrefours".


Legal references

Established following the Communication of the Commission of the European Communities, "The Future of Rural Society", published in 1988 (COM(88) 5012 Final). Implemented following to the Communication SEC(89) 1717 final of 13/10/89 relating to the guidelines of rural development actions.



Operating as a network, the Carrefours have the task of disseminating Community information in rural communities. Their objectives are as follows:

  • inform all the public concerned (farmers, rural communities, development agencies, etc.) by the most varied means:

    • publications, documentation, databases, etc. The Carrefours systematically disseminate information on Community policies and programmes, etc. and answer more specific requests for information;

    • bring together the operators involved at the rural development level and by so doing stimulate initiatives, notably by helping establish partnerships and launch projects;

    • develop closer relations between rural areas by promoting exchanges of information and experiences, transnational cooperation projects;

    • ensure a system of feedback of information from the local and regional level to the Community level.


Target public / beneficiaries

The entire «living strength» of rural society: farmers, rural communities, development agencies, local authorities, professional associations, SMEs, education and training, etc. All the players likely to be interested in setting up transnational projects are the special clients of Carrefours.



The Carrefours are set up within "host structures" which were already well established and had extensive experience in rural information provision, eg, centres for training farmers, a university faculty of economics, a development institute, etc.

A Central Unit at Directorate General Education and Culture (DGEAC) supports the development of the Carrefours network by supplying the necessary documentation on all Community Policies likely to be of interest to the rural networks, replying to information requests, producing promotional material etc.



The Carrefours network was launched in 1989 and has been pursuing its activities since this time. Today it has more than 120 members divided among all the EU Member States.


Nature and amount of aid

The European Commission's input consists first and foremost of information: the Central Unit of DG Education and Culture provides the Carrefours with a range of European information (official publications of the EUR-OP, free access to Community databases, etc)

The DG EAC also grants annual financial aid of 15,000 euro to operate the Carrefours.


Communication media

The Carrefours are connected by an electronic network.

Web site:

Information offices or bodies as additional sources of information

Information and Coordination Carrefours
5 / Office 4
Mme Jeanine Ekelmans
B-1049 Brussels
T: +32 2 299 91 16
F: +32 2 299 31 26


date of publication: 06/00

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