The Dutch Network Support Unit (NSU) supports the Rural Network in the Netherlands. Our mission statement is: “Where enthousiastic people meet, sharing becomes multiplying; that’s what we believe”. We do this by creating a platform for participants where they can share their ideas, obtain practical information and exchange experiences.
In the Netherlands the Rural Development Programme (RDP) is executed by the Ministry of Economic affairs and 12 provinces. So although the Netherlands have only one RDP, we have 13 different Managing Autorities who make calls for proposals. This complexity makes coördination of the communication an important issue for the Dutch NSU. Our task is to optimise the execution of the RDP in order to make Dutch agriculture more competetive and sustainable and to enhance the quality of life in rural areas.
To make this happen we are responsible for:
- getting participants more directly involved
- improving the way rural development programmes are carried out
- informing the public and potential beneficiaries about rural development policy and funding opportunities
- supporting innovative practices and ideas in agriculture, food production, and the rural environment
Our priorities are linked to the five themes in the Dutch RDP:
- Innovation of agriculture, including EIP
- Young farmers
- Nature conservation on farmland
- Measures on watermanagement
In 2015 and 2016 our main focus is on the EIP and LEADER activities. For instance we are giving support to new initiatives of short supply chains and provide training for Local Action Groups (LAG’s). In may 2016 we launched our new website. And together with ENRD we organised the Amsterdam Rural Forum in may 2016.
The NSU is suitable as first contact for foreign networkers who are looking for partners in the Netherlands. We represent the Dutch Rural Network in meetings within the EU. Nevertheless we always emphasize that we are not the network but that we facilitate the network. The Dutch Rural Network has no membership and no official representatives. The NSU is operating as mediator between Europe, the Dutch Managing Autorities and the general public. In other words: we connect people.