History of Rural Youth Europe

Did you know that…

Rural Youth Europe was founded as a European Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Rendsburg, Germany in 1957. It was formerly named “European Committee for Young Farmers and 4H Clubs”. The current name, Rural Youth Europe, was adopted in 2004.

The first steps of the organisation were taken after the Second World War, when leading persons of British, Scandinavian and Central European rural organisations wanted to establish their vision of a pan-European network. Later on, Southern and Eastern European members joined to develop the organisation.

Today, 20 member organisations from 18 countries and more than 500,000 young people are part of Rural Youth Europe.

The main idea of Rural Youth Europe was to bring together the traditional out-of-school organisations of Western and Central Europe and the in-school organisations of Scandinavia. Leadership trainings, courses, seminars, exchanges and other practical activities were organised in order to encourage this idea. These activities received funding from local sponsors and then later from the Council of Europe and the European Commission.

Today the three main activities of Rural Youth Europe are the Spring Seminar, the Autumn Seminar and the European Rally. Especially the European Rally has a long history and it is a fundamental part of RYEurope’s activities. The first Rally was held in 1960 in Zuidlaren, Netherlands. Over the years the European Rally has become a major event on the calendars of all member organisations.

European Rallies from 1960 until today