Advisory Council on Rural Development

The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture is assisted by the Advisory Council on Rural Development (Sachverständigenrat Ländliche Entwicklung - SRLE).

The Advisory Council on Rural Development (SRLE) is composed of ten persons who have special experience in the field of rural development based on their honorary work or their professional activities or position. The experts closely observe the BMEL’s rural development policies and issue statements, appraisals and recommendations. The questions the experts deal with revolve around the following issues:

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

The 1st Advisory Council on Rural Development ran from 28 October 2015 to 27 October 2018. On 20 December 2018 Federal Minister Julia Klöckner convened the 2nd Advisory Council on Rural Development; it is due to run until 19 December 2021. The 2nd SRLE is composed of 10 members from the business community, academia and associations who are involved in rural development. The constituent meeting of the 2nd SRLE was held in the BMEL in Berlin on 30 January 2019.


Prof. Dr. Hans-Günter Henneke
Executive Director of the German Association of Rural Districts (DLT)
Lennéstraße 11
10785 Berlin

Vice chair

Prof. Dr. Claudia Neu
c/o Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development
Chair of Rural Sociology
Platz der Göttinger Sieben 5
37073 Göttingen

Other members

Petra Bentkämper
Executive Committee Member of the German Association of Rural Women
Claire-Waldoff-Straße 7
10117 Berlin

Timm Fuchs
Head of Department
German Association of Towns and Municipalities (DStGB)
Marienstraße 6
12207 Berlin

Bärbel Grönegres
Executive Director
Thüringer Tourismus GmbH
Willy-Brandt-Platz 1
99084 Erfurt

Christina Kretzschmar
Managing Director of the
German Association for Landcare (DVL)
Landesverband Sachsen e.V.
Lange Straße 43
01796 Pirna

Dr. Hildegard Sander
Executive Director
Land Represetation of the Chamber of Crafts in Lower Saxony (LHN)
Ferdinandstraße 3
30175 Hannover

Sarah Schulte-Döinghaus
Federal Chairwoman of the
Catholic Rural Youth Movement of Germany (KLJB)
Drachenfelsstraße 23
53604 Bad Honnef-Rhöndorf

Prof. Dr. Peter Weingarten
Head of the Institute of Rural Studies
Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute
Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries
Bundesallee 50
38116 Braunschweig

Hubertus Winterberg
Managing Director
Südwestfalen Agentur GmbH
Martinstraße 15
57462 Olpe


The BMEL’s division 821 (Strategy and Coordination of Directorate-General 8, equivalence of living conditions 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 816
Postal address: 11055 Berlin
Telephone: +49 / (0)30 / 18 529 - 3265


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