Strategic orientation and Objectives of the Rural Network
The National Rural Network was established with a public appeal to affiliate to the Network in April 2008. Individuals and organisations may register in the Network base to cooperate in the Network activities or only to receive electronic Network news. In order to provide the continuity of Network operation in the 2014-2020 period, the Network is not established anew, but keeps its structure with some organisational changes. The implementation of the Action and Communication Plan of the Network for the 2014-2020 period starts in March 2016.
Strategic orientation of the Network is the support for the implementation of the RDP 2014-2020 which means to operate in the direction of providing and promoting a more quality implementation of the RDP 2014-2020 through different activities and tools within the managing authority as well as in terms of partners operating in the field of rural development. In implementing the activities and applying the tools, the Network follows the rural development policy and provides answers to the needs indicated in the analysis of the state of needs in the programme field and pursues the 'bottom-up' approach".
The Network objectives are the following:
- providing information to general public and beneficiaries on the rural development policy and funding options;
- more quality implementation of the rural development programme;
- better integration of the stakeholder in the implementation of the rural development;
- promotion of innovations in agriculture, food production, forestry and in rural areas;
- encouraging of the transfer of knowledge and cooperation in agriculture, food production, forestry and rural areas.
- Network base is comprising of members who are organisations and individuals under a voluntary and free-of-charge membership into the Network base,
- The Network Support Unit (NSU), which is based within the Rural Development Division at the Ministry,
- The Steering Group of the Rural Network provides outlines for the Network operation and thus presents or represents various groups/areas,
- Thematic working groups as support to different areas/activities of the Network; the MA promotes the establishment, proposes establishment and if necessary provides the support for the operation of such thematic group,
- The network cooperates with the so called INFO Points which provide the stakeholders with information on RDP.
- potential RDP beneficiaries;
- recipients of funds;
- partners in the field of rural development (e.g.: chambers, associations, research and education institutions, institutes, non-governmental organisations, local communities, public institutions, etc.);
- general public;
- the young related to the rural development;
- pupils and students related to the rural development, children in kindergartens and elementary schools;
- women related to the rural development;
- national networks for rural development and local action groups in the EU, European Network for Rural Development (hereinafter referred to as: ENRD), EIP, European Evaluation Network for Rural Development and other international organisation (PREPARE, etc.);
- other participants in the field of rural development.
Activities and tasks of the Network:
1. Communication activities:
The most important role of the Network is information and publicity or communication, which means the implementation of the information and publicity strategy. Communication activities include the information, publicity and feedback activities. The communication means a two-way flow of information , i.e. between the managing authority and partners, stakeholders, beneficiaries, rural areas, general public, expert public, etc. as well as connection/networking between the entities.
Main tools used to implement the information and publicity strategy are information and publicity through the web page, e-news, publishing of print materials, presentations at the fairy, etc. The public will also be informed via the promotion of projects co-financed under the EAFRD. This also includes the activities for exchanging and dissemination of findings of monitoring and evaluation.
2. Training, cooperation and integration activities
Training, cooperation and integration activities are intended mainly to a more quality RPD implementation, promotion of cooperation and exchange of information and experience between different partners, cooperation between different partners and stakeholders in Slovenia and beyond. Cooperation between different partners will be promoted with the purpose to provide thematic al and analytical exchange between the interested partners in the field of rural development. The findings and results of the foregoing exchanges will be also disseminated. Integration and cooperation is an important area that should be even more intensively implemented in the rural areas and encourage people to cooperate. The Network will put a great focus on this issue. The Network will also inform potential beneficiaries and partners on support and cooperation options in the field of innovations and provide networking for advisers. The activities will be also directed in providing the training and networking for local action groups and in particular in technical assistance for cross-regional and transnational cooperation, promotion of cooperation between local action groups and search of partners.
The Network will promote the establishment of thematic working groups, organise seminars, workshops, rural events and provide activities for the transfer of knowledge and promotion of innovations.
3. Other support activities
Other support activities improve the Network operation and activities. This means that the Network will also actively participate in the ENRD and cooperate with other national networks for the rural development and partners form the Member States.
Some of the successful projects implemented by the NRN are the following.
Documentary films “Project: In the countryside” about LEADER in Slovenia, which has been broadcasted by the national television, enables rural stakeholders and broader public to get to know the LEADER approach in Slovenia and the role the local action groups have in implementing various LEADER projects. The documentaries have an important role in raising awareness as regards the preparation for LEADER in the programming period 2014–2020. All eight documentary films are available also online in Slovenian and English. Presented slovenian LEADER projects are nice oportunity for other LAGs to see possible common projects (TNC) with slovenian LAGs in the future.
The weekly electronic NRN newsletter “PRePlet”, which brings up to date information on activities related to rural development.
Creation of a new independent website of the RDP (https://www.program-podezelja.si), which allows us to present the content and the information on rural development and the present and future RDPs in more user-friendly way.
The NRN organised together with The Slovenian Rural Development Network (non-governmental organization) three successive Slovenian Rural Parliaments to bring together different stakeholders with the aim of discussing on the actual needs of rural areas and the people living there.