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European Commission
ENRD Newsletter
October 2016
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Networking to support LEADER transnational cooperation

Several rural networks have had a focus on LEADER transnational cooperation (TNC) in recent weeks. Highlights include a LEADER TNC Fair in Estonia, the LINC 2016 event in Hungary and a new Practitioner-led Working Group supported by the ENRD Contact Point.

Both events saw discussions on the planning and implementation of TNC in 2014-2020. Key requests were for more harmonised rules, simplified procedures, and better communication around guidelines and potential project partners. Both events also saw exchange on specific TNC project ideas and partner search opportunities for Local Action Groups (LAGs) from different Member States.

The new Practitioner-led Working Group supported by the Contact Point aims to address these issues directly. It will work to identify practical possibilities for harmonisation of TNC rules and procedures and build the capacities of relevant actors. For more information, contact

New EAFRD Projects Database

Browse the Projects Database now available on the ENRD website and discover inspirational rural development practice from across Europe!

The new database contains projects funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). These are searchable by Member State, thematic keywords and free text.

The database of projects aims both to encourage the transfer of approaches that have been shown to work and to inspire even better ideas. Do you have an example of a good EAFRD project that you would like to share with the rest of Europe? Contact us at

National Rural Networks' profiles

Find key information on the structure and functioning of the National Rural Networks (NRNs) from the newly uploaded NRN profiles on the ENRD website.

The profiles include sections on the main NRN objectives, membership, governance, budget, and communication and self-assessment activities. Currently, 16 NRN profiles are available on the website and more will be uploaded in the coming weeks.

Smart and Competitive Rural Businesses

The ENRD Contact Point kicked off work on the topic of ‘Smart and Competitive Rural Businesses’ with a first meeting of a dedicated Thematic Group (TG) on 13 October 2016.

The meeting agreed the scope and future outputs of the TG, identifying three interconnected sub-themes to focus on:

  • 'Wild ideas' and new trends for rural businesses;
  • Smart business support;
  • Digitisation & ICT as tools for rural businesses.

The TG is currently composed of 23 representatives of various stakeholder groups, including local organisations, National Rural Network Support Units (NSUs), Managing Authorities (MAs) and DG AGRI.

Areas with Natural Constraints workshop

A recent ENRD workshop discussed the designation of ‘Areas Facing Natural or Other Specific Constraints’ (ANCs) by programme authorities.

The event explored aspects related to the implementation of the new ANC system, specifically focusing on techniques for applying biophysical criteria and fine-tuning, as well as on payment schemes. As European Member States and regions are at different stages in the preparation of the new ANC schemes, the workshop provided a platform for a useful exchange between them and with the EU institutions on their elaboration, approval and implementation.

Financial Instruments for rural development

The latest in the series of fi-compass seminars on Financial Instruments (FIs) for agriculture and rural development took place in Warsaw on 24 October 2016.

These seminars across EU Member States aim to improve understanding of how FIs can support the objectives of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) in the 2014-2020 period. For additional information, see a factsheet on the various FI products and a report by the European Court of Auditors on lessons to be learned from FIs implementation in the 2007-2013 programming period.

New finance opportunities for Hungarian agricultural SMEs

A new agreement benefitting from support under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) will provide finance for up to 2 000 agricultural small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Hungary.

The agreement will facilitate access to finance in the form of investment loans, working capital, overdraft credits and bank guarantees for SMEs that lack sufficient funds and collateral to access the finance market. Find out how the EFSI has contributed to funding new rural business opportunities so far.

‘Agrinnovation’: cooperate to innovate!

Read the new edition of EIP-AGRI’s ‘Agrinnovation’ magazine and find out how to get involved in the EIP-AGRI network and connect with farmers, researchers, advisers and other agricultural innovation stakeholders.

In this third edition of the magazine, you will: discover new tools for exchanging knowledge; explore experiences from the first Operational Groups; get an update on EIP-AGRI Focus Groups; and get inspired by innovative ideas and practices from across Europe.

Precision agriculture and the future of farming in Europe

A new study by the European Parliament’s Think Tank examines precision agriculture developments and practices involving digitalisation, metadata, and the ‘Internet of Things’ to assess policy concerns and options for farming in Europe.

The study provides a technical review of key aspects of precision agriculture such as its economics and governance, environmental impact, business models, and latest trends. It goes on to examine how developments in precision agriculture could potentially impact European agriculture and rural development, regional, environmental and data protection policies.

Rural Poland 2016

A new report overviews the economic and social condition of rural areas in Poland, paying particular attention to demographic changes and the transformation of the agricultural sector compared with the broader European context.

The report goes on to examine issues such as: the impact of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and EU funding; decreasing development gaps between urban and rural areas; and the agricultural holdings landscape. The report, published by the ‘Foundation for the Development of Polish Agriculture’, is available in Polish and English.

Fostering inclusive rural transformation

A new publication by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) analyses global, national and regional pathways of rural transformation and examines their implications for rural development policy and programming.

The ‘Rural Development Report 2016’ analyses regional patterns of transformation, as well as thematic areas of intervention such as: employment and migration; agri-food markets and value chains; rural finance; agricultural technology innovation; and land and natural resources.

2 - 4 November 2016
The Food Factor, Barcelona, Spain
3 November 2016
Innovation Road, Pipaix, Belgium
7 - 8 November 2016
European Farm Succession Conference, Brussels, Belgium
8 - 9 November 2016
National LEADER Meeting, Blaubeuren, Germany
8 - 9 November 2016
National Rural Networks’ Meeting, Senec, Slovakia
8 - 9 November 2016
Launching LEADER Cooperation North and South, Newry, Co. Down, Northern Ireland, UK
9 November 2016
Food Chain in the Digital Single Market, Brussels, Belgium
10 - 13 November 2016
Workshop on Sustainable Forest Management, Tara National Park, Serbia
14 - 15 November 2016
Effective Management and Control of EAFRD 2014-2020, Berlin, Germany
15 November 2016
EU Financial Instruments, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
16 November 2016
Financial Instruments for enhancing SME competitiveness in 2014-2020, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
16 November 2016
Fit, Fair and Sustainable: Proposals for a New Agriculture Policy in the EU, Brussels, Belgium
16 November 2016
Animal Production, the Key in a European Sustainable Circular Bioeconomy, Brussels, Belgium
18 November 2016
Regional Seminar on Tourism in Rural Areas, Gesves, Belgium
21 - 28 November 2016
Masterclass on Smart Farming, Breukelen, Netherlands
22 - 23 November 2016
Renewing LEADER/CLLD for 2020+, Tartu, Estonia
24 - 25 November 2016
European Organic Processing Conference, Seville, Spain
25 November 2016
Conference on Financial Instruments under the EAFRD, Brussels, Belgium
29 November 2016
Managing Nature – Working Together, Turku, Finland
30 November 2016
2nd Meeting of Thematic Group on ‘Smart and Competitive Rural Businesses’, Brussels, Belgium
1 December 2016
Rural Networks’ Assembly, Brussels, Belgium
1 - 3 December 2016
Envisioning the Future of Food Across North-South Divides, Berlin, Germany
5 - 6 December 2016
Financial Management of Rural Development Programmes, Maastricht, The Netherlands
6 - 7 December 2016
EU Agricultural Outlook Conference, Brussels, Belgium
7 December 2016
ENRD Workshop on Agri-environment Climate Measures, Brussels, Belgium
7 - 8 December 2016
Achieving Results the CLLD Way, Båstad, Sweden
14 December 2016
2nd meeting of Thematic Group on ‘Resource-Efficient Rural Economy’, Brussels, Belgium
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