Created in 1972, the European Landowners’ Organization (ELO) contributes to close cooperation between rural communities, and in doing so aims to counter the challenges of rural depopulation brought about by urbanization and globalisation. As rural territories cover the vast majority of the European area, a balanced development of these areas is necessary in order to enable the countryside to generate economic activity and improve the rural environment by protecting and enhancing environmental heritage.
ELO represents a large number of rural family business and enterprises as well as individual actors in Europe involved in activities such as farming and agriculture, forestry and cork, wine production, hunting and fishing as well as water and waste treatment. ELO sets out to encourage sustainable development and management, whilst promoting biodiversity, sustainable bioenergy, food safety, responsible packaging, and combating climate change. ELO also strives to uphold property rights notably in land use, cities, real estates, historic houses and gardens.
In order to achieve all of this ELO relies on the Organization’s ability to bring together rural actors, NGOs and political decision makers at local, regional, national and European levels. In this way the voices and opinions of a large number of stakeholders from all over the EU can be heard. A proactive platform for analysis at the local level of the implementation of current EU legislation is also achieved.
ELO believes that landowners, farmers and estate managers should have the support and the tools available in order to be able to deliver on their responsibilities whilst allowing them the freedom to make decisions based on their many years of experience. With activities based on a network of some 59 associations in the EU-27 and Candidate Countries, as well as established high-level contacts with institutions and field professionals, ELO facilitates this development.
ELO is often invited in political and economic circles as a challenger. Its ability to organise interdisciplinary meetings and to synthesize innovative ideas puts it at the forefront of the think tanks in the agricultural and rural activities sector.
For more than 40 years, ELO stands at the local, national and European levels in favour of landowners and land managers. Its permanent body, in the heart of the European boroughs, in Brussels, with more than 30 team members is in direct contact with political decision makers at the highest level, economic leaders and various stakeholders involved in the rural activities.
Its more than 54 members from all over Europe give it a powerful and efficient network to better understand, to explain and to influence the EU decisions. Joining ELO is not only a question of defending someone’s interests, it is also and more accurately a way to build the future so that Europe enjoys a balanced development.