EU countries exchange on how to launch Operational Group calls
EIP-AGRI seminar ‘Launching Operational Groups and EIP-AGRI Networking in Rural Development Programmes’
With preparations for the programming of the EIP-AGRI now drawing to a conclusion in most Member States, DG Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) recently invited national/regional Managing Authorities to Brussels (18 – 19 November 2014) to participate in a technical seminar on ‘Launching Operational Groups and EIP Networking in Rural Development Programmes’. This was a follow-up to previous technical seminars held in Madrid (June 2013) and Berlin (November 2013), as well as five regional workshops organised from February – May 2014.
The seminar in Brussels aimed to address a range of practical issues relating to the launching of effective calls for Operational Groups, as well as the organisation of EIP-AGRI networking for innovation support services and other advisors with a focus upon innovation.
The meeting kicked-off with a clear overview presented by DG AGRI of the legal framework and guidelines for Operational Groups and networking, and was enhanced by the presentation of relevant practical examples from 7 Member States. A novel feature of the seminar was that open questions generated in previous meetings fed-forward to the Brussels meeting to provide a framework for 10 break-out discussions during which the participants worked in smaller groups to share their experiences and ideas directly regarding a range of key practical issues. These included the practicalities of setting-up Operational Groups, encouraging the optimum mix of partners, using selection criteria to foster innovation and ensuring the effective dissemination of results.
At the end of the seminar Mr Aldo Longo, Director of ‘General Aspects of Rural Development and Research’ at DG AGRI, told participants: “It is clear from our discussions that there is no "one size fits all" approach. Still, no matter your individual strategies, some points seem important to consider for call preparation: timing, promotion, costs, management of applications, beneficiaries, eligibility and selection criteria, and dissemination….It is of utmost importance to create the right support environment for operational groups, both in the animation phase, and for the group setting-up itself”.
Click here for more information about the seminar, including all presentations and supporting documents.