List of international research and networking initiatives

List of international research and networking initiatives

I. International scientific or professional societies

The Rural Sociological Society (RSS)

Scope: The RSS is a professional social science association that promotes the generation, application, and dissemination of sociological knowledge. The Society seeks to enhance the quality of rural life, communities, and the environment. This website is intended to serve all those interested in rural people and places.We seek and support a diverse and international membership of academics and practitioners who share our interests in rural people and places.


The European Association of Agricultural Economists

Scope: The European Association of Agricultural Economists (EAAE) brings together agricultural economists and others interested in the problems of the agricultural and food industries and rural development in Europe. The main objectives of the Association are: (a) to promote the knowledge and understanding of agricultural economics, especially in the European context and; (b) to promote the exchange of experience, ideas and information between agricultural economists.


International Rural sociology association

Scope: The objectives of the Association are to: foster the development of rural sociology; further the application of sociological inquiry to the improvement of the quality of rural life; and provide a mechanism whereby rural sociologists can generate dialogue and useful exchange.


The European Society for Rural Sociology

Scope: Today, ESRS is the leading European association for scientists involved in the study of agriculture and fisheries, food production and consumption, rural development and change, rurality and cultural heritage, equality and inequal ity in rural society, and nature and environmental care. The membership in the ESRS is open to people in- and outside Europe who are interested in the study of rural questions.


European Community Psychology Association

Scope: (a) Awareness of, education, training, and research, as well as practical applications, of community psychology in the general body of psychology. (b) Critical debate of key issues in community psychology and related issues. (c) Progressive influence of community psychology on practice and policy. (d) Personal health, human development and social justice. (e) Dismantling of disabling societal barriers and psychologically damaging contexts and practices.(f) Solidarity, collaboration and mutual respect between community psychologists and marginalized, disempowered or oppressed people.(g) Social change to nurture and sustain psychological, collective and physical well being.


Young Professionals for Agricultural Development

Scope: YPARD is an international movement by Young Professionals FOR Young Professionals for Agricultural Development. YPARD operates as a network; it is not a formalized institution. At the heart of YPARD as a movement are its members, who are encouraged to become active in their area, spread the news about YPARD to other young professionals, encourage a stronger voice of youth in their own organizations and share their views and ideas with other young professionals in the network. This global on-line and off-line communication and discussion platform is meant to enable and empower young agricultural leaders around the world to shape sustainable food systems.


Community Development Society

Scope: The mission of the Community Development Society is to strengthen community development practice, policy, learning and scholarship through connecting, convening and collaborating.


International Regional Studies Association

Scope: We are an international community focused on the dissemination of regional research through knowledge exchange, international events, publications and micro grant funding.



Scope: COGECA, now called the “General Confederation of Agricultural Cooperatives in the European Union”, currently represents the general and specific interests of some 40,000 farmers’ cooperatives employing some 660,000 people and with a global annual turnover in excess of three hundred billion euros throughout the enlarged Europe. Since its creation, COGECA has been recognised by the European Institutions as the main representative body and indeed the spokesman for the entire agricultural and fisheries cooperative sector.


II. Other relevant on-going COST actions

CA18236 – Multi-disciplinary innovation for social change

Summary: In an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world, traditional disciplinary approaches to the framing and resolution of social and economic problems deliver ever diminishing returns. Discussions abound, therefore, about how best to educate and prepare graduates for the fresh challenges of the 21st century. Knowledge Alliances between Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and enterprises which aim to foster innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity, employability, knowledge exchange and/or multidisciplinary teaching and learning are therefore becoming increasingly necessary and relevant. The challenge is to determine what we should teach in the future and how it should be taught. The changing nature of contemporary society highlights that social issues are often highly complex and multifaceted.

The aim of this Action is to demonstrate, through the adoption of Multi-Disciplinary Innovation (MDI) methods, how we can respond to social problems with a design-led approach which has a problem-oriented ethos, supporting positive social change and the development of international public policy discourse. It will be achieved through the establishment of a Pan-European Public Sector Innovation (ePSI) lab. It will prepare students for roles in employment by integrating education programmes into the lab’s operations and it will support agencies that have a role in responding to and developing public policy.

MC Chair: Dr Katri-Liis REIMANN – Contact person:

CA17114 – Transdisciplinary solutions to cross sectoral disadvantage in youth

Summary: This COST Action aims to understand the interrelationship of disadvantages that young people across Europe face in the process of entering the adulthood and how policies can mitigate this negative spill-over effect. Specifically, we are interested in sets of circumstances and factors that prevent young people from:

  • finding a decent job;
  • starting a family when they want;
  • making their voice heard in the policy processs.

The scientific challenge that the proposed Action addresses is to build awareness and mutual usability of research findings across research disciplines and societal contexts . This understanding is especially important due to the fact that life domains are interrelated and disadvantages in one domain may cause negative spillover effect in another. Based on transdisciplinary knowledge on disadvantages it is possible to propose relevant policy interventions to tackle such situations and eventually to reduce risk of social exclusion. Focus is on cross-sectoral youth policy and investment approach in social policy that represent two efforts in finding novel solutions to contemporary concerns. Yet the problem is that both are taken for granted as good solutions for youth without further in depth investigation. The Action sees its societal challenge in understanding how the approach to social investment and relevant policy interventions can be applied to young people without bringing about increase in inequality.

MC Chair: Anu Toots – Contact person:

III. Other Research intiatives and projects


Projects on territorial Dynamics/rural policies

ROBUST – Rural-urban outlooks: unlocking the synergies: website – CORDIS (06/2017-05/2021)
NEWBIE – New Entrant netWork: Business models for Innovation, entrepreneurship and resilience in European agriculture: website – CORDIS (Thematic network – 01/2018-12/2021)
COASTAL – Collaborative lAnd Sea inTegration pLatform: website  – CORDIS (05/2018-12/2021)
SiEUGreen – Sino-European innovative green and smart cities: website – CORDIS (01/2018-12/2021)
LIVERUR – Living Lab research concept in Rural Areas: website – CORDIS (05/2018-04/2021)
RUBIZMO – Replicable business models for modern rural economies: website – CORDIS (05/2018-04/2021)
RURALIZATION – The opening of rural areas to renew rural generations, jobs and farms: website – CORDIS (05/2019-04/2023)
PoliRural – Future Oriented Collaborative Policy Development for Rural Areas and People: website – CORDIS (06/2019-05/2022)
DESIRA – Digitisation: Economic and Social Impacts in Rural Areas: CORDIS (06/2019-05/2023)

IV. Stakeholders at an International level


European Commission

DG Employment, social affairs & inclusion
DG for Education and Culture
DG for Agriculture and Rural Development

European Parliament

AGRI committee
Culture and Education committee
Employment and social affairs committee
Council of Europe
European Steering Committee for Youth (CDEJ)
Advisory Council on Youth (CCJ)
Joint Council on Youth (CMJ)


LEADER program

Relevant multi-stakeholders networks

European Network for Rural Development







UNESCO Education




Rural development

UNESCO Chairs Program



COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is a funding agency for research and innovation networks.
Our Actions help connect research initiatives across Europe and enable scientists to grow their ideas by sharing them with their peers. This boosts their research, career and innovation.

Official COST Web: CA18213