Recent News Posts


You may have been wondering why the Rural Development Support Unit (RDSU) has been quite of late. The reason, we have been busy launching a new web site dedicated to the National Rural Network (NRN). The new web site was launched on the 1st of June and is packed full of information regarding the Irish [...]

June 30th, 2009 by Mark 

Local Tourism Web-site short-listed for National Award

It is always nice to report on a good news story from within the National Rural Network. The Cavan Monaghan Rural Development company developed an online tourism discussion website for tourism businesses in Cavan / Monaghan in 2007.  This website,, has now been short-listed for a National award in the ‘Online Tourism Award’ category [...]

May 1st, 2009 by Mark 

OECD Workshop: Designing services for rural communities

On the 11th of June the Commission for Rural Communities in the UK will be hosting an event entitled “Designing services for rural communities: the role of co-design and co-delivery”.  This 2 day workshop will focus on the special challenges of designing appropriate services and delivery mechanisms for rural areas.

April 29th, 2009 by Mark 

Potential impact of climate change on livestock

An alarm has sounded on how global warming could impact European livestock. Speaking to members of the Society for General Microbiology (SGM) recently, Professor Peter Mertens from the Institute for Animal Health (IAH) in the UK cautioned that ruminants  have been dealt major blows within the last decade, triggered by the rising temperatures on Earth. [...]

April 29th, 2009 by Mark 

USDA to Conduct First Wide-Scale Organic Ag Survey

With a strong focus on agri-environment measures within Axis 2 of the Rural Development Programme, many of our readers may be interested in the announcment by the  United States Department of Agriculture that they are to conduct the first-ever, wide-scale survey of organic farming in the United States.

April 29th, 2009 by Mark 

Capacity Building Seminar

The first seminar of the European Network for Rural Development (EN RD), entitled “Capacity building for national rural networks: the challenges of national rural networks to efficiently support the implementation of EU rural development policy”, took place in Brussels on the 30th and 31st of March. Presentations from the seminar are available here. Background and [...]

April 8th, 2009 by Mark 

Adapting to climate change: Towards a European framework for action

On the 1st of April the European Commission published a white paper outlining actions needed to strengthen the Union’s resilience in coping with a changing climate. Over the next 50 years climate change is likely to have profound effects on important economic sectors such as agriculture, energy, transport, ecosystems, tourism and health. It will also [...]

April 6th, 2009 by Mark 

Rural Development Seminar: Brussels March 2009

The Rural Development Support Unit were invited to contribute to a major EU wide seminar which brought together the National Rural Networks and Ministries as well as Agriculture and Rural Development practitioners from the 27 member states. The event was held held over two days in Brussels and commenced on March the 30th. Commissioner Fisher [...]

April 2nd, 2009 by Paul 

European Evaluation Network for Rural Development

European Evaluation Network for Rural Development

The rationale for setting up the European Evaluation Network for Rural Development (EENRD) is drawn from the experience with evaluations of rural development programmes carried out during previous programming periods. In the past, the programme evaluations, which fall under the responsibility of the Member States, revealed shortcomings in applying the evaluation guidelines and indicators established [...]

March 31st, 2009 by Mark 

A simplified CAP for Europe

Last week the European Commission published a report outlining the progress already made in simplifying the Common Agricultural Policy and re-stated its confidence in meeting its objective of reducing the administrative burden arising from the CAP by 25% by 2012. The report highlights a “number of measures taken over the past three and a half [...]

March 24th, 2009 by Mark 
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