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European Commission
ENRD Newsletter
December 2016
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Rural Connections Autumn 2016

The autumn 2016 edition of the ENRD networking magazine ‘Rural Connections’ is now available on the ENRD website. This edition gives special attention to the discussions and outcomes of the recent Cork 2.0 European Conference on Rural Development.

The thematic section on Cork 2.0 presents: an overview of the event; highlights of the workshop discussions; the resulting Cork 2.0 Declaration in full; and a range of stakeholder perspectives on the outcomes. Read these for a real flavour of current discussions on the future of Rural Development policy in Europe.

The magazine also provides its regular sections of ‘News and updates’ from European networks and institutions, and a range of articles presenting diverse ‘Rural Issues, Rural Perspectives’.

Remember that you can subscribe to receive multiple paper copies of future editions for free:

Improving CLLD implementation

A two-day European CLLD seminar came up with recommendations to improve local strategy delivery and implementation for the best possible use of the Community-Led Local Development (CLLD) method across the four eligible European Structural and Investment Funds.

Participants at the seminar - held in Båstad (Sweden), 7-8 December - discussed and voted on the most relevant and practicable improvements around: 1) local partnership and governance; 2) financing, delivering and reporting; and 3) working with local assets. A highlights summary will follow shortly. See selected content from the online debate.

A related event on ‘Renewing LEADER/CLLD for 2020+’ was organised by the European LEADER association for Rural Development (ELARD) on 22-23 November in Estonia. It called for a renewed LEADER/CLLD framework in the 2021-2027 programming period.

Rural Networks’ Assembly maps out future work

The 3rd meeting of the European Rural Networks’ Assembly fed back on the activities of the ENRD and EIP-AGRI networks, mapped out how rural network members are responding to the Cork 2.0 Declaration and discussed how to better support ‘digitisation’ in rural areas.

The nearly 200 Assembly members who met in Brussels on 1 December 2016 also heard a keynote speech from the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development who urged Assembly members to use their “rural know-how… contacts and credibility to ensure today’s key messages are heard in the right places”.

New LAG database

Get in touch with Local Action Groups (LAGs) funded under the Rural Development Programmes and find cooperation partners via the LAG database now available on the ENRD website.

The database will be developed to include an interactive Partner Search Tool to enable and facilitate interregional and transnational cooperation. It is intended to include local groups operating under the Fisheries (EMFF), Regional Development (ERDF) and Social (ESF) Funds.

CAP consultation coming in the new year

The European Commission recently confirmed that it will launch a consultation on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in early 2017.

Speaking at the recent 2016 EU Agricultural Outlook Conference Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development explained that the public consultation will be the first step towards a Commission Communication on the future of the CAP before the end of 2017. Keywords will be ‘modernisation’ and ‘simplification’.

Rural business-support ideas

The ENRD Thematic Group (TG) on Rural Businesses met for its second meeting on 30 November 2016 to discuss better business support in Europe’s rural areas.

As well as discussing a vision of what rural businesses will look like in the future, the group exchanged on emerging ideas and practices in business accelerators and rural digital hubs. The group will continue to work towards ideas and recommendations for how Rural Development Programmes can best support modern businesses in rural Europe.

Share your ideas and examples with the group:

Agri-environment-climate Measures

A recent ENRD workshop discussed the design and implementation of audit-compliant, result-oriented Agri-environment-climate Measures (AECM), including examples of current practices in a number of EU Member States.

The event discussed aspects such as collective approaches to AECM, support for input reduction, and avoidance of double funding. It addressed challenges related to controllability and verifiability of AECM interventions, as well as opportunities that the Measure offers.

Enhancing farmers’ position in the supply chain

A new report by the Agricultural Markets Task Force makes concrete recommendations for policy and legislative initiatives post 2020 to improve European farmers’ position in the food supply chain.

Confirming the importance of a strengthened position of farmers within a well-functioning supply chain, the European Agricultural Council conclusions of 12 December suggest solutions for enhanced market transparency, risk management and contractualisation.

Implementing Financial Instruments under EAFRD

A new case study by fi-compass examines how a Financial Instrument (FI) under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) was designed and implemented to provide funding to Estonian agricultural and rural enterprises.

With EUR 36 million allocated from the Estonian Rural Development Programme (RDP), the FI will enable the provision of advantageous loans and generate investment in agricultural and rural development projects.

European agricultural outlook 2016-2026

The second high-level Agricultural Outlook Conference, 6-7 December 2016, discussed the current state and future prospects for agriculture in the EU in the context of global challenges such as climate change and resource availability.

In association, DG AGRI released a new publication presenting a medium-term outlook to 2026 for the major European agricultural commodity markets - including arable crops, milk and dairy, and meat - as well as agricultural income.

Renewable energy in EU agriculture

A recent brief by the European Parliament’s Think Tank overviews the production and impact of renewable energy on agriculture, as well as financial support allocated under each EU Member State’s Rural Development Programme (RDP).

The brief goes on to highlight some of the barriers to on-farm renewable energy production and the potential positive contribution to farmers’ livelihoods and rural development.

European Food & Drink industry 2016

A recent report by FoodDrinkEurope overviews 2016 data and trends of the European food and drink industry, providing a comprehensive picture of the sector’s structure and economics.

Presented in the form of infographics, the report analyses the EU’s single market, as well as global markets, highlighting trends and figures in employment, consumption, food supply chains, and innovation. Finally, it provides a ranking of the top selling EU and global agri-food companies.

10 January 2017
CAP – out of the box thinking, Brussels, Belgium
20 January 2017
The Cork 2.0 Declaration – from reflection to action, Berlin, Germany
24 January 2017
3rd Meeting of Thematic Group on ‘Smart and Competitive Rural Areas’, Brussels, Belgium
25 January 2017
ENRD workshop on ‘Generational Renewal through rural development’, Brussels, Belgium
9 February 2017
ENRD Workshop on Social Inclusion, Brussels, Belgium
15 - 17 February 2017
Sustainable Tourism for Rural Development, Bergamo, Italy
21 February 2017
LEADER/CLLD Sub-group, Brussels, Belgium
22 February 2017
ENRD Seminar on ‘Smart LEADER’, Brussels, Belgium
15 - 17 March 2017
7th NRNs’ Meeting, Azores, Portugal
28 March 2017
Forum for the Future of Agriculture 2017, Brussels, Belgium
9 - 11 May 2017
LINC Conference 2017, Vianden, Luxembourg
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