Project Details

Priority: 1: Innovation and the knowledge economy
Theme: Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Type of intervention

Type of intervention: 1: Regional Initiative Project
Mini-programme: No
Duration: 1st Jan 2010 - 31st Mar 2013


Total budget: €2,117,553.00
ERDF contribution: €1,627,098.75

Lead partner

Regional ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture
41071, Sevilla

  • Click for contact details
    • Contact Person: Rocio Del Rio Lameyer
      Phone: 34955032087
      Fax: 34955032380

Project summary

Ruraland is the result of a high level of understanding between a series of European regions which have a long-standing tradition in cooperation between each other and with other territories. Ruraland was set up after various meetings with different entities sharing the wish to promote innovative and competitive regional rural development policies. The partnership is made up by 10 regional authorities at a Nuts II level or equivalent, from 9 countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Spain, Finland, France, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Sweden), which, as a group, make up a very balanced representation of the current EU

Behind this link between the regions, (the desire to promote said policies), the project main objective could not be any other than “reinforce efficiency and innovation in regional rural development policies which have the economic diversification of the rural areas as their objective by means of regional cooperation as a means towards reaching a greater degree of cohesion & balance

between the European regions”.

In order to reach this objective, a methodological base has been defined, which, apart from including the activities that are traditionally carried out in cooperation processes (seminars, studies, web site, etc.), include activities and tasks related to the transfer of experiences in 4 key areas in rural development: Economic competitiveness, new technology and renewable energy; new employment, ITCs and services to the population; natural and cultural economic valorisation. The good practices will be transferred reinforcing the network established by the project, as one same experience will be transferred by various partners at the same time, always guaranteeing trans-nationality

In addition, activities addressed to the carrying out of a reflection and agreement task that contribute to the direct influence on the rural development regional policies by means of the drafting of regional policy recommendations and a Joint European Policy Recommendation

are contemplated. The result of these activities will generate outputs such as thematic seminars, database for capitalised good practices, visits to the territories in order to see the experiences in situ, feasibility studies to assess and adapt the experience to the territory receiving them, publications with conclusions and results in each one of the thematic areas, a final publication, and policy recommendations for rural development policies of the participant regions.

Regarding the results produced, the exchange of experiences will become a permanent acquisition for the regions as a whole, these results being immaterial and collective given their nature. The result of the reflection work will strengthen the dialogue and agreement capacity of the authorities from the regions, as well as the relationships between the regions in the future. The publications, publicity and material published will be permanent and will stimulate the dissemination of the results in the long term

Project achievements

Ruraland is a cooperation project in rural development issues carried out by 10 European regions, who have worked together with the main objective of contributing to the innovation of regional RD policies and to achieve the economic diversification of rural areas. It has involved the exchange of successful experiences and GP in partner regions. The exchanges were grouped thematically and were undertaken directly between the exporting region and the partner regions interested in implementing them in their territories. The themes tackled: Competitiveness & the promotion of investment in rural areas (TL1); Incorporation of new technology & renewable energies in rural SMEs (TL2); The economic valorisation of natural & cultural assets in rural territories (TL3); New jobs, services provided to society (TL4).

Ruraland aims at 2 main results: to become a space for reflection and debate on regional RD policies and, an improvement in rural development policies in the partner region.


During the execution of the project, actions such as seminars, meetings for joint reflection, study visits to the experiences to be transferred & transferability studies have been carried out.

At the launching meetings of the different TL (Apr-Mai,2010), their contents were defined in more detail, identifying the GPs to be exchanged & the methodology to use. To gather similar information from each GP, partners used factsheet 1 (objectives, description of activities, methodology, results and budget).This information allowed partners to form an initial idea of the GP. After these seminars, factsheet 2 with more operational information was required to allow partners to asses the transferability of the GP chosen into their territories.

Next, and with a clearer idea of which GP was to be transferred, partners visited the GPs (08-2010/04-2011), with exchanges between experts from importers and exporters. A total of 45 visits were made.As a result of the visits and the previous work.


elaborated the Action Plans that would lead to the implementation of the GP in their territory. A total of 28 AP were elaborated between 05-2011&02-2012. From these, 5 have turn into Pilot Actions, starting their implementation by the end of 2011. Some of them have been fully implemented during the project's life, others will continue afterwards. Of the remaining 23 AP, 10 have a high probability of being programmed & launched, though this will occur outside the scope of Ruraland.

Another product is the elaboration of a joint statement of the partners containing a series of strategic recommendations whose purpose is to influence RD policy in the EU. This declaration is backed by the political leaders of each partner organisation. They were elaborated during the 2 intermediate workshops (Corsica-oct11/Wallonia-nov11), with the participation of all partners through a participatory process. 2 books have been produced for dissemination.

2 Capitalisation seminars were held in 05&06-2012

(Kainuu & Sicily),where each action plan was explained, with the exporting & importing regions explaining what was being done and to clarify or define key aspects which could be relevant in each action plan. These meetings took place in plenary sessions so all the regions could learn from all of the experiences and, during the debate, could express their opinion or clarify any doubts which arose. Also the partners reflected on all the activities undertaken, the methodology used & the impact of the work in each of the TL in the territories and the influence it may have on rural development policies in the EU.

In Sept.20-21,2012, took place in Seville the closing conference where all persons having participated in the project were invited as well as policy makers & stakeholders from all the partners regions, who debated jointly around the 8 Strategic Recommendations mentioned above. More than 90 people were present for the presentation of the final results & outputs of Ruraland P.



Institution, Town Country Region Contact details
Regional ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, Sevilla SPAIN Andalucía 34955032087
Regional Council of Limousin, LIMOGES FRANCE Limousin 00 33 555 45 17 76
Rural Foundation of Wallonia, Namur BELGIUM Prov. Namur +32 81 26 18 82
Jämtland County Council Institute of Rural Development, Ås SWEDEN Mellersta Norrland 46 63 14 73 00
Pazardzhik Regional Administration, Pazardzhik BULGARIA Yuzhen tsentralen 359 34 400013
ODIANA – Development Association for the Baixo Guadiana, Castro Marim PORTUGAL Algarve 00351281 531171
Office for regional and agricultural development in Corsica, BASTIA FRANCE Corse 00.33
Joint authority of Kainuu Region, Kainuu FINLAND Itä-Suomi 358 8 6155 4211
Region of Jamtland, As SWEDEN Mellersta Norrland 63144330


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