European settlement fund for the development of the rocky region: Europe invests in Selsky region



LAG Pomorie –  Presentation

A Local Initiative Group (LAG) is a public-private partnership established and registered under the Law on Non-Profit Legal Entities, designated to carry out public benefit activities, aiming to develop, provide capacity and implement a CLLD strategy in a certain territory, in which the public sector, of the representatives of the business sector and of the representatives of the non-profit sector in the collective management body and in the collective supreme body shall not exceed 49 percent. The name of the legal entity contains the designation “Local Initiative Group” or abbreviated “LAG”. “Local community” are citizens and legal entities that have a permanent or current address or registered office in the territory of the LAG and have a mutual interest in carrying out activities to achieve certain eligible objectives. The LEADER approach is an integrated approach based on a territorial principle, which aims to identify the competitive advantages of a given territory and to propose an effective strategy for its development. The approach is based on well-functioning local action groups (LAGs), which cover a homogeneous, socially connected area with common traditions and local identity and unite public, private and civil society organizations operating in that area. During the period 2007-2013, Bulgaria used for the first time funds from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) for the purposes of supporting the LEADER approach. Its implementation is characterized by a high degree of public interest.

Local development within the LEADER approach in the period 2014-2020 is called Community-led local development (CLLD). It is implemented through integrated and multi-sectoral local development strategies based on the characteristics of the area, developed on the basis of local needs and potential and incorporating innovative characteristics in the local context. Community-led local development is supported by the EAFRD and may receive support from the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. CLLD, supported by the relevant European Structural Investment Funds, is implemented on one or more priorities of the respective program or programs in accordance with the rules for the respective funds. Its main goal is to stimulate local development in rural areas. Community-led local development (CLLD) is a tool for citizen participation at the local level in developing responses to the social, environmental and economic challenges we face today. CLLD is an approach that requires time and effort, but with relatively small financial investments, it can have a significant impact on people’s lives and generate new ideas and shared responsibility for putting them into practice. CLLD is a method of involving partners at local level, including civil society and local economic actors, in the development and implementation of local integrated strategies that help their regions and help move towards a more sustainable future. It can be a particularly powerful tool, especially in times of crisis, to show local communities that they can take concrete steps towards forms of economic development that are smarter, more sustainable and more inclusive in line with the Europe strategy.

What is CLLD?  Local community-led development is:

• focused on specific subregional territories;

• led by local action groups composed of representatives of the public and private local socio-economic interest, at the level of decision-making or the public sector, as defined in

• national rules, nor any of the groups representing specific stakeholders, represent more than 49% of the voting rights;

• is carried out through integrated and multisectoral strategies for local development, based on the characteristics of the region;

• Developed taking into account local needs and potential, and incorporating innovative features in the local context, networking and, where appropriate, cooperation.

 The main advantages of the bottom-up approach are the following:

• Local actors have a better knowledge of the local challenges that need to be addressed and the resources and opportunities available

• They are therefore able to mobilize local resources for the development process in a way that cannot be done with top-down approaches

• This gives local actors a greater sense of responsibility and commitment to projects, allowing them to make the most of local assets.

• However, a community-led approach can only be effective if it develops trust between participants and is maintained by enduring local structures with the necessary experience and expertise.

What is a CLLD Local Development Strategy? A “Community-led local development strategy” means a coherent set of actions aimed at meeting local goals and needs and contributing to the achievement of the Union’s strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, prepared and implemented by a local action group. Coordination with other CSF funds

During the 2014-2020 programming period, community-led local development is funded through the participation of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) as a development tool for one or more of the EU’s rural development priorities. Local action groups and beneficiaries are eligible for funding from the European Social Fund, the European Regional Development Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

Strategies supported by several funds

allow for a wider scope, as strategies can address more problems and cover more sectors, and can be better adapted to specific territorial characteristics, using the opportunities offered by all participating funds;

• involve a wider range of partners who, together, can better identify and address common cross-cutting challenges;

• help to avoid artificially differentiating or overlapping strategies supported by different funds; • allow streamlining and simplifying the implementation of the local strategy, taking advantage of the harmonization of the rules for working with the individual funds;

• increase the overall budget for local development, as the LAG will have access to different sources of funding. What are the minimum tasks of the LAG? The tasks of the local action groups include the following:

• building the capacity of local actors to develop and implement operations, including building their project management skills;

• establishing a non-discriminatory and transparent selection procedure and selection criteria for operations that avoid conflicts of interest and ensure that at least 50% of the votes in selection decisions come from partners outside the public sector, with the possibility of appealing against decisions taken for selection and allow selection by written procedure;

• ensuring coherence with the strategy for community-led local development in the selection of operations, prioritizing them according to their contribution to achieving the objectives of the strategies;

• developing and publishing calls for proposals or an ongoing project submission procedure, including defining selection criteria;

• receiving applications for support and evaluation of these applications;

• selecting operations and determining the amount of support and, where applicable, sending these proposals to the responsible body for a final eligibility check before approval;

• monitoring the implementation of the community-led local development strategy and the supported operations and carrying out specific evaluation activities in the light of this strategy.

Description of the mechanisms for coordination and complementarity with other measures of the RDP

For the implementation of community-led local development strategies, local action groups may apply different measures from the RDP (2014-2020), and there will be no distinction between the type of interventions and beneficiaries and those defined in the program. Thus, for beneficiaries falling within the scope of approved local action groups, support for measures at national level is complemented by the implementation of community-led local development strategies. In this way, synergy and greater effect is achieved from the implementation of the RDP and the strategies for community-led place development.

To prevent the possibility of double funding, support will not be allowed under the community-led local development strategy and under the RDP (2014-2020) for the same activities.

Each project included in the strategies for community-led local development is checked for the absence of double funding under the relevant measures of the RDP (2014-2020), before its approval.

Who can be beneficiaries of the projects?

In principle, projects are implemented by private or public importers who have applied to the LAG for project funding. The LAG itself or one of its members may also be a project promoter. This is the case where the project has a collective or territorial dimension, or creates a framework (studies, infrastructure, training, etc.) needed to implement the strategy. This case is even more appropriate for cooperation projects, as these projects require a higher degree of coordination.

Construction and installation work budget in millions of euros

The maximum amount of eligible costs for a project to a CLLD strategy:

Up to EUR 200,000 for projects funded by the RDP, OPHRD, EMFF and OPNOIR;

• Defined in the application guidelines of the MA of OPE 2014-2020;

• Defined in the announcement of the LAG after approval by the Managing Authority (MA) of OPIC for projects funded by OPIC.