European Network for Rural Development (EN RD)
The essential rules governing rural development policy for the period 2007 to 2013 are based on Council Regulation (EC) N 1698/2005 of 20 September 2005 on support for rural development from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). These rules also govern the policy measures available to Member States and regions. Under this Regulation, rural development policy for 2007 to 2013 is structured along 3 thematic and one horizontal axes.
Chapter II of this regulation is devoted to technical assistance. Its Article 68 specifies that "each Member State shall establish a national rural network, which groups the organisations and administrations involved in rural development".
With the aim to ensure the networking of these national networks, organisations and administrations active in the field of rural development at Community level, the establishment of a network named "European Network for Rural Development" was foreseen in Article 67.
The aims of the EN RD are to:
• Collect, analyse and disseminate information on rural development measures and practices;
• Provide information on developments in rural areas;
• Organise meetings and seminars;
• Set up and run networks to facilitate exchange of expertise, support implementation and evaluation of rural development policy;
• Support the national networks and transnational cooperation initiatives.
The Coordination committee (CC) assists the European Commission in preparing and implementing the EN RD’s activities. A such, its activites are:
• to ensure coordination between the EN RD, NRNs and organisations active in the field of rural development
• to give advice to the European Commission on the Annual Work Plan of the EN RD,
• to contribute to the choice and the coordination of thematic work carried out by the EN RD,
• to propose to the European Commission the remit of the Thematic Working
The Leader subcommittee (LSC) contributes to the work of the Coordination committee.
• It advises the European Commission on the annual work programme of the EN RD particularly in respect of the Leader axis. It offers support to the European Commission in the implementation and monitoring of transnational cooperation projects.
• It also reports regularly to the Coordination committee about its activities.
• It has established a number of focus groups to review Leader implementation.
The Contact Point (CP)
A Contact Point provides the European Commission (Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development) with technical assistance in support of the European Network for Rural Development. Its main activities are the following:
• Support to and secretariat of the Coordination committee, the Leader subcommittee, the Thematic Working Groups, expert meetings;
• Support for Transnational cooperation for Leader (among which publication of guides, development of databases, etc.);
• Information exchange and coordination with National Rural Networks (NRNs);
• Promotion and representation (participation in events, seminars and other promotional initiatives);
• Information line (responding to requests for information and receiving visitors);
• Support for analysis/summary of programmes and monitoring indicators;
• Collection, collation and dissemination of project relevant experiences;
• Development of the European Network for Rural Development Website;
• Preparation of seminars and conferences;
• Publication of a rural development periodical, an electronic newsletter, project relevant experience and Thematic publications.