Advisory Council on Rural Development

The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture is assisted by the Advisory Council on Rural Development

The Advisory Council on Rural Development (SRLE) is composed of twelve persons who have special experience in the field of rural development based on their honorary work or their professional activities or positions.

The experts closely observe the BMEL’s rural development policies and issue statements, appraisals and recommendations.

The questions the experts deal with mainly concern the following issues:

  • demographics, basic services, social affairs and living conditions;
  • economic affairs, labour and finance;
  • land use, environmental issues and recreation.

However, the SRLE also addresses other topics, such as the diversity of rural areas or issues concerning the energy crisis.

The first term of the Advisory Council on Rural Development ran from 2015 to 2018, the second term ended in 2021. The third term of the SRLE was launched with its constitutive meeting on 21 September 2022. Federal Minister Cem Özdemir personally thanked the former and the new or reappointed members for their voluntary service and emphasised that the SRLE’s expertise is of great value to the BMEL.


Prof. Dr. Claudia Neu
Professor, Chair of Rural Sociology at the universities of Göttingen and Kassel

Vice chair

Dr. Hartmut Berndt
President of the Federal Working Group of LEADER Action Groups in Germany (BAG LAG)

Other members

Petra Bentkämper
Federal Chairwoman of the German Rural Women Association

Prof. Dr. Peter Dehne
Professor for planning law / building law at
the University of Applied Sciences in Neubrandenburg

Latif Hamamiyeh Al-Homssi
Commissioner for Migration in the district of Waldeck-Frankenberg

Karin Harms
District Administrator for the district of Ammerland

Grit Körmer
Local Action Group (LAG) Märkische Seen

Dr Birgit Kreß
First Mayor of Markt Erlbach

Prof. Dr. Annekatrin Niebuhr
Institute for Employment Research

Dr. Hildegard Sander
Executive Director
Land Representation of the Chamber of Crafts in Lower Saxony (LHN)

Sarah Schulte-Döinghaus
Federal Chairwoman of the Catholic Rural Youth Movement of Germany (KLJB)

Prof. Dr. Peter Weingarten
Head of the Institute of Rural Studies at the Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute in Braunschweig


The BMEL’s division 816 (Strategy and Coordination of Directorate-General 8, equivalence of living conditions and transformation processes in rural areas) is responsible for managing the Advisory Council on Rural Development.

Contact person:
Ralph Brockhaus
Federal Ministry of Food and
Agriculture (BMEL)
Division 814
Postal address: 11055 Berlin
Telephone: +49 / (0)30 / 18 529 - 3265


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