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European Observatory of Rural Innovation and Development

The European Commission has published an invitation to tender for a contract for setting up the European Observatory of Rural Innovation and Development (Technical assistance under LEADER II). The Communication to the Member States concerning the Community initiative LEADER ...

The European Commission has published an invitation to tender for a contract for setting up the European Observatory of Rural Innovation and Development (Technical assistance under LEADER II). The Communication to the Member States concerning the Community initiative LEADER II (OJ No C 180 of 1.7.1994) foresees that the various components of the LEADER II Community initiative "are organized around a European rural development network, which provides a framework for the circulation of information on rural development policies, the exchange of experience among those involved in rural development, the spreading of innovation and know-how (in particular to assist the most handicapped rural areas), and the setting-up of joint projects". The characteristics of the network, its objectives and its operation are described in the notice to the Member States and are given in the annex to the present call for tender. In order to assist the creation of the European Observatory of Rural Innovation and Development, the European Commission is looking for technical assistance from an organization that will be charged with carrying out, under the close supervision of the Commission, the following services: (a) Gathering, processing and disseminating information on: - All Community rural development actions; - Innovative and model practices financed by the LEADER II initiative or by other sources. On the basis of information on Community rural development actions, the Observatory will have to: - Identify, collect, organize and classify the information; - Make this information available, to all those involved in rural development, in the form of multilingual papers and computer files. Concerning the information on innovatory and demonstration actions, and on the basis of an analytical methodology and validation available elsewhere, the Observatory will have to: - Collect all relevant information from the regional bodies responsible for assessment, and/or the beneficiaries of LEADER II; - Identify and validate innovative and model operations whatever their source of financing; - Organize and classify this information (by type of territory and field of intervention); - Analyse the information: lessons to be learnt with regard to methods and rural development policy; - Make this information available to all those involved in rural development in the form of: . A general information file (on disk and hard copy) in three languages; . Directories classified by Member State; . Multilingual directories classified by type of territory; . Multilingual directories classified by category of innovation; . Multilingual technical files (methods of implementing a given type of innovation). The tenderer must submit a strategy and a proposal for the technical and organizational means of running the two domains which constitute the central aspect of the work of the Observatory; (b) Using and processing the assessment work attached to each national or regional LEADER programme: - Translation, synthesis, processing and redissemination to Commission staff and partner institutions so as to provide a half-yearly overview of the overall progress and impact of the LEADER II initiative; (c) Organizing the European rural development network: - Holding transnational thematic seminars of a high technical standard leading to the production of methodology papers (10 seminars of 40 persons per year); - Financing larger-scale events (one per year with around 300 participants); - Setting up an electronic mail system within the network (feasibility study, installation of system, operation of electronic network); - Preparing regular publications following on from those established for LEADER I: . "LEADER Magazine", published three times a year in all the languages of the Union (print-run 30,000); . "Info LEADER", monthly bulletin maintaining communications between those working at local level (also in all Union languages); - Organizing an annual European competition with prizes awarded to the best projects in terms of LEADER's key criteria (innovation, ability to serve as a model and transferability). This competition will be linked with existing events on a national or supranational scale (agricultural fairs, rural tourism forums, etc.); - Organizational and technical support for national networks and non-governmental organizations identified in partnership with the Member States as having proved their added value in respect of rural development and as necessary for the good functioning of LEADER II; (d) Technical assistance for national authorities and local collective bodies to facilitate the circulation of information and the transfer of expertise between them: - Organizing regular meetings (twice a year) between the bodies responsible for implementing LEADER at national and/or regional level; - Making information available (translating, summarizing national documents, ad hoc documents) to enable reciprocal understanding of rural development practices and policies at local level; (e) Technical assistance for transnational cooperation between local action groups and other collective bodies. On the basis of a selection procedure established by the Commission, the Observatory will have to finance the costs relating to the organization of this transnational cooperation (travel costs, translation and interpreting costs, feasibility studies). A budget of ECU 4 million should be planned for the whole period for this aspect of the tasks. The contract will be established for a period of four years (1995-1998). After two years, the continuation of the contract will be subject to an assessment of the services provided. This contract is renewable once for a period of two years. Tenders may be sent to: European Commission Directorate-General for Agriculture (DG VI) Mr. Milano Deputy Director-General 200 rue de la Loi (L130 10/106) B-1049 Brussels