Communicating Rural Development
ENRD Main Stories Archives
HIGHLIGHT OF THE MONTH: LEADER EVENT 2012!
The LEADER Event 2012 took place this year in Brussels on the 27-28 April, 2012. Following the success of last year’s event, which focused on ‘new Local Action Groups (LAGs)’ – the theme this year centred on Local Development Strategies (LDS) and Cooperation.
Around 400 people from all across the EU attended the event, including over 250 LAG representatives from all 27 EU Member States, plus additional representatives from the National Rural Networks, Managing Authorities, European Commission and rural organisations. The overall focus of the event was upon improving the quality of the implementation of local development strategies; to integrate cooperation as a key component of local development strategies, and to encourage a new wave of transnational cooperation (TNC) projects.
The two-day event will kicked off with a lively discussion on why the theme of LDS and cooperation are so fundamental to the LEADER approach to rural development. The discussion was held in an informal ‘chat show’ style and also involved representatives from DG AGRI, the European LEADER Association for Rural Development (ELARD), LAGs, the Focus Group on LDS (FG4) and the ENRD CP.
A ‘Networking and Cooperation Fair’ provided information and support on potential Transnational Cooperation (TNC) projects, as well, of course, as allowing LAG members to get to know each other, using LAG ‘match-making techniques’ under Thematic Cooperation Areas, on the following seven themes: Local Development; Social/Educational & Culture; Environment; Entrepreneurship & Local Products; Food & Farming; Tourism, and Other Topics. ‘Country Stands’ organised by National Rural Networks (NRNs) will display materials, as well as local products, handcrafts and tasty samples of local food from their respective LAG areas. In fact, potentially some 70 new TNC projects were launched at the event. In addition, the European LEADER Association for Rural Development (ELARD) had a stand during the event. In addition, the fair featured a Cooperation Offers Corner, audio-visual presentations and a ‘Meet the ENRD’ stand, participants could find information on an array of thematic initiatives. On the second day of the event, two simultaneous workshops were held on issues linked to the key themes, including designing, implementing and monitoring a better LDS.
The outcomes of the event will be disseminated shortly via a range of ENRD products including a dedicated newsletter, audio-visual products and a final report. In addition all the views and comments shared during the event will feed directly into the ongoing work of Focus Group 4 on designing a better LDS.
This year’s workshops also be used some modern approaches to networking, so as to really stimulate the creative energy of participants, including the ‘World Café’ method for facilitating collaborative dialogue and the ‘Open Space’ approach for inspiring new ideas. For further information on the LEADER Event 2012, click here.