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Dear ELARD members! you can read the first newsletter this year with a new structure. After my opening words you will find information about ELARD activities, members' introduction, policy work section and also upcoming events. As this is our first newsletter of Estonian presidency, feel free to suggest improvements!

2016 is a very special year, the 2014-2020 program period just started with full speed and at the same time we are already turning our attention to the 2020+ negotiations. Following months will pave the way to the better LEADER/CLLD in the future.
Our role, our mission as ELARD members is to be actively involved in this process and bring forward the needs and interests of LAGs and local communities in our countries.

Therefore it is a great pleasure to invite you to participate in ELARD activities and contribute to formulation of common statements that we can present at European but also at national level.

How often do we ask ourselves if there are similar challenges in other countries? How have they solved these problems? What kind of issues should we commonly rise up to better influence the LEADER/CLLD policy making?

ELARD is the European platform opened to collect and share the knowledge from one country to another. Let´s make use of this and help each other in these negotiations at national and European level.

In this process it is highly important to stand on the solid ground and therefore we first need to know better our own resources, needs and difficulties. We need to analyse the needs and find together the priority issues to work further.

For this reason different activities for members to contribute to the policy work have been planned during following months. The first step is to collect information among ourselves and therefore has ELARD compiled a questionnaire for members, which is the initial mapping and analysis tool of problems and needs related to the LEADER/CLLD implementation in ELARD´s member countries. Analysis of the survey will be presented at the General Assembly on 15th of June and this will be the first input for further policy work. In Autumn ELARD will organize two gatherings. On 12th of October the ELARD workshop “CLLD – how does it really work?!” will take place in the frame of European Week of Regions and Cities. There we have good possibilities to present important issues related to the multifunding approach and get feedback from participants. On 22nd-23rd of November the ELARD conference “LEADER/CLLD 2020+” will be held in Estonia, where the declaration of European local action groups will be formulated for the period of 2021–2027.

These are the activities in the near future where ELARD members’ contribution is highly welcomed and expected. We know what kind of influence LEADER has and what we can achieve in the future. It is up to us to make our statements visible and stand for the needs of rural communities together.
Wishing good co-operation and active involvement for all of us!

Kristiina Tammets
President of ELARD
LAG manager from South Estonia

ELARD activities: European Rural Parliament Rural Parliament (ERP) is not yet another association! It is a campaign supported by people and networks from all parts of Europe to express the voice of rural people in Europe.

ERP is co-initiated and organised by the three networks: ERCA (European Rural Community Alliance), PREPARE Partnership for Rural Europe and ELARD. ELARD is like the two other networks represented at the Steering Board – by Kristiina Tammets and Pedro Brosei and in the Coordination Group by Kirsten Birke Lund. Read more
ELARD members: Spanish Network for Rural Development (REDR) was constituted in 1995 as a non-profit making association with the objective of promoting a model of comprehensive and sustainable rural development.  It currently consists of 11 Regional Networks representing over 200 Rural Development Groups (LAGs) throughout Spain. The Groups manage Programmes and Initiatives related to Rural Development, essentially EU Initiatives. Read more
ELARD members: Latvian Rural Forum (LRF) Rural Forum (LRF) was established in 2004 – the year when Latvia joined European Union. As non-governmental organization LRF was registered in 2015 to promote balanced development of Latvian rural territories. Through the years LRF has developed together with its’ member organsations and today has strong position in the dialogue between politicians and                        civil society. Read more
ELARD policy work - reports of the meetings (March-May 2016)

Civil Dialogue Group on Rural Development meeting (20.05.2016)
ELARD president meeting with John Grieve, ENRD (19.05.2016)
ELARD president meeting with ECM partners (19.05.2016)
Portugese 1st CLLD gathering (13/14.05.2016)
Structured Dialogue Group meeting (26.04.2016)
European Countryside Movement conference for a rural agenda in the programming period post 2020 (19.04.2016)
European Countryside Movement meeting (16.03.2016)
European Rural Networks Steering Group meeting (04.03.2016)
Upcoming events at European level

1 June 2016 - RDP workshop on Measure 16 cooperation (Brussels, BE) 
14 June 2016 - ENRD workshop on LEADER Cooperation (Brussels, BE)
15 June 2016 - General Assembly of ELARD (Brussels, BE)
16 June 2016 - Rural Networks Steering Group Meeting (Brussels, BE)
24 June 2016 - ENRD Seminar "Promoting Green Economy" (Brussels, BE)
5-6 September 2016European Conference on Rural Development (Cork, IE)
22-23 November 2016 - ELARD Leader/CLLD - post 2020 conference (Estonia)
23 November 2016 - General Assembly of ELARD (Tartu, EE)

Upcoming events at National level

8-9 June 2016 -  LeaderFEST JESENIKY (Czech Republic)
9 June 2016 Poland - ELARD country visit, meetings with LAGs, national network and ministry representatives
24-26 August 2016 - Estonian Rural Network: Leader TNC Fair (Jäneda, EE)
9-10 September 2016 - Festival of Slovenian LAGs, ELARD president´s presentation about LAGs co-operation at regional level (Slovenia)
Copyright © 2016 ELARD, All rights reserved.

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