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Founded in 1966, AEIAR is one of the oldest European networks with about 21 members from 10 EU Member States working in the field of rural development to improve the quality of life in rural areas through integrated rural development policies. This network is recognised by the European Commission and is therefore member of the Advisory Group on Rural Development of the Directorate General Agriculture and Rural Development.

On 4th March 1966, organisations from Belgium, France, Luxemburg, The Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Denmark involved in rural development and improving agricultural structures in the public interest, and acknowledged as such in their respective countries, founded the “Association Européenne des Institutions d’Aménagement Rural” known as A.E.I.A.R.

By exchanging experiences and cooperating on European level, they aimed to optimise their actions in the interest of people living in rural areas.

Since A.E.I.A.R. was founded, the missions and activities of its members further developed within the framework of the European integration process. Therefore, they started working beyond rural planning, especially in the implementation of European Union measures for rural development at regional and local level. The Association became an International Non-Profit Association in accordance with the Belgian Law of 27 June 1921.