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LEADER Conference, Przemysl October 2007 Romanian National Rural Development Network Proposed structure Professor Michael Dower
Criteria Rural Development Networks should be : aimed at a wide range of stakeholders open and flexible in character responsive to the needs of stakeholders user-friendly in format preferably contracted out guided by a Steering Committee of stakeholders shaped by consultation with all stakeholders PREPARE, July 2006
Romania : the context Severe problems : - a massive rural population - high unemployment -farmland largely re-privatised -farm structure polarised c.20,000 large units 4 million small family farms - weakness in other aspects of the rural economy -poor rural infrastructure
The challenge to government and stakeholders Rural development is a new idea in Romania 8 billion euros of EAFRD money to spend, but No strong trust or partnership between government and stakeholders Few stakeholders know how to use public money Danger that money will be under-spent and ill-spent So, the Network has an absolutely central role in the Rural Development process, in providing information and building trust and partnership
Aim of the Network The aim of the Network is to : enlist the energy of all stakeholders in the RD process promote the flow of information, exchange of ideas and good practice, and cooperation among the stakeholders raise awareness among stakeholders of the opportunities open to them through the RD programme promote take-up by stakeholders of RD measures and funding promote partnerships between different types of stakeholder inform government of what stakeholders want
Elements in the Network The Network has 4 main elements, or actors Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development The stakeholders, who are the Network The Network Support Unit The National Steering Committee
The role of the Ministry Managing Authority for the RD Programme, responsible for shaping and oversight of the programme proper use of EU and national funds effective liaison with all stakeholders So, it should : work closely with all stakeholders in shaping the Rural Development Network establish and fund the Network Support Unit establish and chair the National Steering Committee
The role of stakeholders Stakeholders are all who have a stake in the well- being of rural people and businesses Success of the RD programme depends on their action They need information about the programme. They can gain from exchange of ideas with other stakeholders; from knowledge of good practice; from cooperation with other bodies They can also contribute to the Network e.g. by offering information and good practice. So, they are the Network, and its success depends on their active contribution
Groups of stakeholders To promote cooperation, and assist representation on Steering Committee, it is proposed to group the stakeholders into 10 groups, representing : Land owners, forestry interests, commercial farms Small farms, including semi-subsistence or subsistence farms Other economic sectors Civil + non-profit organisations Ethnic or other minority groups Local Action Groups + similar bodies Local authorities + their associations Universities, research institutes, museums etc Public agencies Ministries other than MARD
The Network Support Unit The Support Unit will animate the network. It should : Provide + distribute information on the RD programme Find + disseminate good practice in the RD field Help to build groups + partnerships within the Network Enable exchanges between Network members Provide training for Local Action Groups and others Support inter-territorial and trans-national cooperation between members of the Network and others Provide links to the European Rural Network, and to the National Networks in other EU member states
The National Steering Committee The job of the Steering Committee will be to Advise on priorities and themes within the work of the Network Support Unit Approve the Action Plan prepared by the Support Unit Receive and consider progress reports from the Support Unit Advise the Ministry of Agriculture on progress and changes in the work programme of the Support Unit
Three further features Thematic Working Groups, to enable stakeholders to cooperate on particular RD themes. The Support Unit may help the activity of these Groups, and the Steering Committee may advise on priority themes. Local Action Groups, under Axis 4, will cut across the groupings in the Network. The Support Unit may provide training for LAGs, and may support their inter- territorial and trans-national cooperation. European Rural Network. The 27 national Networks will have links to the European Rural Development Network, with its own Support Unit and a Steering Committee on which national representatives will sit.
Process 2007 May Two-day seminar with stakeholders July Submission to EC of draft RDP, with proposed structure of Network September to October Formal consultation with stakeholders, to identify members and groups 2008 January Second seminar with stakeholders April Creation of Steering Committee May Prepare terms of reference of Support Unit July Launch tender for Support Unit November Select Support Unit December Support Unit in place
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