RURENER an European influent network

RURENER  : from an exchange of experience network to an European influent network
Published by Christelle Lefevre on 03/04/2015

RURENER is the European network of rural areas engaged in 100%RES communities dynamic. The aim of this network is to empower rural areas of developing ambitious energy strategies. The association reflects the goal in three actions: sharing of experiences between European rural areas, supporting for the construction of European projects and awareness of European authorities on energy issues in the rural territories. Exchange of experience and conduct of joint projects are on the foundation of RURENER. RURENER organizes every year national exchange days and supports leader projects. However the passage of an exchange network to a network of influence required a disruption of the structure.

RURENER is the European network of rural areas engaged in 100%RES communities dynamic. The aim of this network is to empower rural areas of developing ambitious energy strategies. The association reflects the goal in three actions: sharing of experiences between European rural areas, supporting for the construction of European projects and awareness of European authorities on energy issues in the rural territories. Exchange of experience and conduct of joint projects are on the foundation of RURENER. RURENER organizes every year national exchange days and supports leader projects. However the passage of an exchange network to a network of influence required a disruption of the structure.

Today RURENER became a credible network and recognized at European level capable of relaying the message of its members and national clubs.

To be recognized at European level, RURENER had to become a representative network. RURENER has been structured in national clubs. This allows it to have an ambitious development strategy through local intermediaries who help the network to adapt its offer to different local contexts. The national clubs also help RURENER to build a clear message to the European institutions and allow the exchange of experiences and the development of cooperative projects nationwide. They also facilitate the transmission of information in the language of each of its members. To achieve this result, the RURENER association amended its articles. It signed cooperation agreements which acknowledged the existence of national clubs. The association recognized also the possibility to rural communities other than the village to join RURENER. Thus the members of the national clubs are member makes RURENER and have the opportunity to make their voices heard alongside the historical members.

After creating national clubs, RURENER had to build a clear message to the European institutions and a message to rural communities. The survey conducted toward 200 territories in Europe and opinions published by the national clubs have produced a message to the Covenant of Mayors and the European Commission. The message carried by RURENER to rural communities has been enhanced by the commitment of RURENER as a supporter of the Covenant of Mayors and participation in various training sessions.

For these messages to be heard by the right targets, RURENER had to be known by key relay at European level and in rural areas engaged in the process. At European level, RURENER works with associations present at the office of the Covenant of Mayors as ICLEI, Energy Cities and Climate Alliance. The national clubs have meanwhile worked with rural areas at local events and during their annual meeting to present RURENER and his role.

Finally, for its message to be transmitted, RURENER is present on social networks (Twitter, Facebook) and has a website where all of its network members present. RURENER is also present at major European events such as the Energy Week. His next challenge is to represent the European rural areas at COP 21.