Every two years the Dutch village association LVKK organises a Rural Parliament. On November 23 the Rural Parliament 2019 took place in Venhorst. Venhorst was also the host for the European Rural Parliament 2017!
The Dutch Rural Parliament had 180 participants. About 100 participants were representatives of village-councils in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, 1500 village councils are members of 10 Provincial Village Associations. Together they build the national village-association, the Landelijke Vereniging Kleine Kernen (LVKK). A village council is a non-political organization that is open to all residents of the village, is not limited to one or a few sectors and aims to improve the quality of life in the village.

At the Rural Parliament five topics were discussed:

The IV Lithuanian Rural Parliament was organised by the Lithuanian Rural Commuity union the 18th of October 2019 in Raundovaris, Kaunas. After presentations by the authorities and intensive discussions, being concerned by unsufficient funding for community empowerment, bureaucracy, complicated regulatory framework and sectoral management of rural affairs, the participants suggest…

I have the pleasure once more to participate in the forum, organized by Regional Rural Development, Standing Working Group, SWGRRD which is the forum for cooperation in South Eastern Europe, SEE, Western Balkan countries. This time the Forum was hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy of North Macedonia in the place Ohrid.

Since last year, the Rural Development Network of North Macedonia received an institutional support from the Swedish Development Organization We Effect, to empower the network and its rural members, woman and men, to be an important contributor in the democratic processes of participatory oriented governance, civic engagement and adjustment to the challenges of EU integration.

The Rural Development Network of North Macedonia (RDN of NM) together with the National Federation of Farmers (NFF), every year organizes an event to mark the International Day of Rural Women – October 15. This year's celebration which was supported by the Swedish Development Organization* We Effect, was just a continuation of last year's event and an opportunity to see the results of the Declaration on Improving the Economic and Social Position of Rural Women which was signed by the RDN of NM, NFF, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy and the cooperation between the institutions and NGOs.

An opportunity to recognize the important role and contribution of rural women in agriculture and rural development and revitalize joint efforts to improve the situation through pro-rural women policies

Tirana, 15 October 2019 – About 150 women and girls from rural areas of the country gathered at the First Edition of the ‘Pro Rural Women’ organized by the Albanian Rural Development Network on the occasion of International Rural Women’s Day, October 15.

The new Smart REDR project is an online platform from the Spanish Rural Development Network. The aim of this platform is to democratise technological innovation in rural areas and digitalise the processes in which citizens participate, without restrictions or conditions.

Landsbyggðin lifi - LBL, is a civil organization of people in Iceland which wants to stimulate and strengthen the population throughout the country. Emphasis is placed on linking people together and helping each other to form a strong umbrella, a forum for individuals and civil groups, which are committed to strengthening and enhancing their local community and thus contribute to the development of regional harmony throughout the country both economically and culturally.

From the former co-founder and member of our partner "Village Movement Brandenburg" Kurt M. Krambach we have received the following plea:

Efforts to start a German village movement began in 2005 in the State of Brandenburg – inspired by the experiences of the Swedish village movement – by founding a working group "Living Villages". When ERCA was founded, the WG became its member.

Our Partner in Bulgaria invites you to participate in an international conference 22-24th October on “Cooperation – tools for promoting Local Development”

NMC International Rural Women01

On the occasion of the International Day of Rural Women, October 15th, the Rural Development Network of North Macedonia together with the National Federation of Farmers, every year, are organizing an event to recognize the women’s importance in enhancing agricultural and rural development worldwide. The focus of this year’s event will be putted on the implementation of the Declaration for improving the economic and social status of rural women that was signed last year and discussions will be initiated on the topic of rural women and land property and heritage.

The event will be organized in Prilep, North Macedonia and will host around 150 women farmers, women from rural areas, NGOs, representatives from the central and local government, Swedish Embassy, EU Delegation in North Macedonia, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Food, NEA, Institute of Agriculture and UN WOMEN. The Swedish organization, We Effect, is financially supporting the organization of this event and is giving the opportunity for representatives of the members of the Balkan Rural Development Network - BRDN to participate, share experience and knowledge which can be replicated in the other Western Balkan countries.

"Smart Islands through Exchange and Collaboration" was the theme of our penultimate LEADER funded exchange between Scotland and Ireland before Brexit kicks in.

Through the European Small Islands Federation, the Scottish Islands Federation has been a signatory of the Smart Islands Initiative which was launched at the EU parliament in Brussels in 2016. And for the last couple of years, we have concentrated on energy issues through the Clean Energy For EU Islands secretariat and 4 island groupings within our Federation ( the Scottish Off grid islands and the Orkney Energy Forum, the Aran islands and Kokar in the Aaland islands are now closely involved with the Clean Energy transition Agenda and receiving special support to implement their plans.

The Third Croatian Rural Parliament was held from May 20 - 23, 2019 in Vodice and Tisno, in the Šibenik-Knin County on the Adriatic coast. The main theme was "Smart villages", or the villages of the future. The organizers were the Croatian Network for Rural Development (HMRR), the Ministry of Agriculture/Network for Rural Development (MRR)Local Action Group More 249 was host and co-organizer of the event

Read more from Croation Rural Development Network webpages.


Arome Transilvane started from the need of berries producers to associate in a structure which can bring them benefits regarding promoting their products and easier access to the market. By being part of a cooperative the producers benefit from better prices for their products and can handle plantations, development, and expansion because somebody else is responsible for sales and disposal of the products.

Read here an interview about the model of operation, the products commercialized by the cooperative and promotion used to engage consumers.

Around 250 participants from Slovenia and other European countries will gather on 8th and 9th October 2019 in the hilly region of Haloze. In the presence of distinguished guests and experts participants will discuss the current challenges in rural development and agriculture. Split into nine working groups, spread around picturesque landscapes of Haloze, they will search for optimal solutions in the new programming period between 2021 and 2027. Foreign guests are invited to participate on 8th October in the workshop “Local Economies”. Plenary sessions on 9th October will be simultaneously translated into English language. During the event, the ARGE prize for the best Slovenian village and NEWBIE prize for the innovative young farmer will be awarded.

Applications for participation should be sent before 20th September 2019. Please find more about the programme of the 5th Slovenian Rural Parliament and the link to the application form at www.drustvo-podezelje.si.

Participants of the 4th Latvian Rural Community Parliament call on society, decision makers and policy implementer to work closely with each other by adapting legislation, developing support tools and raising public awareness of new initiatives, approaches and key issues that would promote rural areas and small towns as a modern and dynamic places.  Based on the information, views and suggestions expressed in working groups, participants of the 4th Latvian Rural Communities Parliament are advocating a new rural paradigm by developing seven lines of action that need to be included and implemented in next-year planning documents and activities promoting holistic rural development that is summarized in the Resolution available here

Representatives from 28 organisations, plus individuals from across rural Wales gathered on July 2nd to celebrate the achievements of LEADER in Wales and highlight the importance of Community Led Local Development to a thriving, resilient and sustainable rural economy.

The 9th Dutch Rural Parliament will take place at the 23rd of November in the village of Venhorst in the South East of the Netherlands.

The aim of Dutch Rural Parliament is still the same:

13th Estonian Rural Parliament took place July 26th to 28th 2019 in Räpina, Põlva County (Southern Estonia) with 350 participants: 15 delegations from Estonian Counties, guests, partners, politicians, 11 participants from 7 foreign countries. A joyful event with enthusiastic participants and fantastic weather.

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Zalenieki in Jelgava municipality, 5 – 7 June 2019

The 4th Latvian Rural Parliament was held from June 5th to 7th in the village Zalenieki in Jelgava municipality. The Rural Parliament consisted of Work-Stations, Plenaries and Field Trips.

Draft declaration included support for the following issues:

Small Communities
Density of population
Employment/jobs in the countryside
Financial redistribution
Local resources
Strengthening democracy and participation

A more comprehensive report will be posted soon and included in the ERP July Newsletter

Black Sea Basin regional cooperation project


Armenian NGO Development Principles is implementing a "CERTOUR II: FOR A BETTER SME MANAGEMENT" project, within the framework of which First Steering Committee Meeting was organized in Yerevan in April, 2019. The Steering Committee Meeting gathered regional partners from 5 countries to reflect on the project progress, accomplishments so far, and future activities. The guests also visited project participants SMEs who are active in the areas of hospitality and tourism.  Follow links to learn more:



Project website is http://certour2.org

"CERTOUR II: FOR A BETTER SME MANAGEMENT" project started on October 11, 2018 and will last 2 years. This is a Black Sea Basin regional cooperation project with participation of 6 organizations from 5 countries -  Armenia, Greece, Turkey, Romania and Ukraine. Project’s main idea is to upgrade the skills of the SMEs working in the area of hospitality in order to improve their competitiveness including better managerial skills and introducing modern management tools in daily operations. Pilot implementation of the management tools leading to the systematic management improvement is a core activity of the project. The sequence of activities towards this objective is as follows:

  • Development of management tools adapted to the SMEs working in hospitality sector;
  • Creation of transnational group of skilled consultants (mentors), development of common training package and joint mentors' training program;
  • Customization of the management tools to each SME;
  • Pilot implementations (e-training platform, e-training, mentoring);
  • Experience exchange (study visits, learning tours).


CERTOUR II project is co-financed by EU through ENI CBC Joint Operational Program BLACK SEA BASIN 2014-2020. Joint Managing Authority is Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration of Romania. Total project budget is 827.860,00 Euros. The Armenian partner Development Principles NGO has been awarded with 130.735,68 Euros. Each partner is committed to contribute co-financing at 8% of partner budget.

For details please contact:

Development Principles NGO

President - Anahit Ghazanchyan

Phone: +37491403224

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


This material has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of Development Principles NGO and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union

Common Borders. Common Solutions

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4th Latvian Rural Communities Parliament "New Paradigms of Rural Areas” will be held on 6th and 7th June, 2019 in Zaļenieki, Jelgava Municipality, Latvia.

It is still possible to register for the 4th Latvian Rural Parliament – deadline for registration is 23rd May
The theme for this Latvian Rural Parliament will be the New Rural Paradigm. Official translation in common sessions and also for some of the workshops. Let them know on when you expect to arrive, and they’ll see to that you’re transported to the venue.

Find more information on the 4th Latvian Rural Parliament here

Last day 16th May!!
If you’re fast you can still register for the 3rd CRP which – deadline for registration is 16th May. The registration-form is in Croatian, please contact the organisers should you need assistance. No participation fee.
Be aware that there will be official translation for the first two days – whereas it’ll be a more private/person-to-person translation for the field-trips on the third day
Find more information on the 3rd Croatian Rural Parliament here

LEADER France - COOPER’ACT – European Seminar on LEADER Cooperation on 29 and 30 April 2019

Rural development is a very important issue for all Western Balkan countries, because of the significant number of rural population, huge rural territories and contribution of agriculture in economy of the countries.

Five ERP partners in the UK and Ireland have been working together on the ERP ROAD Project on Maintaining UK links with Rural Europe. This is a brief summary of events: 

Minha Terra Network, the Portuguese partner of the European Rural Parliament, that brings together all the 60 Rural Local Action Groups in Portugal, organized a meeting under the ROAD (Rural Opinions, Advocacy and Development) project, supported by the Europe for Citizens Programme, in Torre de Moncorvo, North of Portugal, at the 20th March. 

30th January 2019, 14h30 - ELARD Members meeting

Portuguese Permanent Representation to the European Union - Avenue de Cortenbergh,12, Brussels

On the 30th of January an ELARD Members meeting with representatives of Local Action Groups Networks was held in Brussels and part of the agenda was the ROAD thematic project “LEADER/CLLD for citizens and for the European Union”.

PREPARE NETWORK CELEBRATES ITS 20TH ANNIVERSARY in 2019. The origin of PREPARE was the travelling workshop in Estonia and Sweden of 1999, aimed at civil society and government people of accession countries of central Europe from rural areas . In 2019, PREPARE will publish short stories about organisations that make up PREPARE and small history chapters of PREPARE’s development through the last two decades.

Young People for the Future of Sustainable Rural Development

In cooperation with the Latvian Rural Forum, Forum Synergies is offering an exchange programme for young people who want to experience sustainable rural development.
You want to host a trainee? - Get in touch! You’re looking for a host? - Get in touch!