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Datenbank der Projekte zur ländlichen Entwicklung

Preparatory Support for LAG Establishment and LDS Development


Twenty-month process of building skills on local level, elaborating a Local Development Strategy (LDS) and creating a public private partnership to apply for recognition and funding under Axis 4 LEADER.


The area (574 km2) is a typical agricultural area with 37,760 inhabitants, comprising vineyards and many semi-subsistence farms. It is situated close to the second biggest city in Bulgaria - Plovdiv. The project was one of a hundred LEADER preparation initiatives. This preparatory measure was applied only in Bulgaria and Romania in the 2007-2013 programming period. The project implementation was supported by a team of experts in community development.


The general objective of the project was to build capacity and skills at local level in order to elaborate, implement, monitor and evaluate a LDS. Specific objectives were to: i) support the establishment of a Local Action Group (LAG); ii) design the LDS; iii) engage representatives of local stakeholders groups; and iv) develop skills for planning and consensus building.

Main activities

The main activities were: i) a stakeholder analysis and information campaign; ii) a needs assessment and participatory planning; iii) community meetings and events aiming at creating a common understanding and community identity; iv) community fora with participation of key stakeholder groups to agree on the vision and main priorities of the territorial strategy; v) developing a legal framework for the LAG and its decision-making structure and mechanisms; and vi) two study trips to EU LAGs.

Results & Benefits

Thanks to the project, key development priorities were identified in line with the area's specific needs and as a result of consensus building among key local stakeholders. The LDS was submitted and approved by the Ministry of Agriculture to receive funding under the LEADER measure 41. An operational Local Action Group was created and established; selection criteria and internal rules were established. The LAG began activities and progressed in planning a TNC project.

Lessons learnt

Building consensus around and creating a common vision for local development in an area with non-existing rural governance practices, requires time and targeted external support. Lack of guidance and experience with LEADER at national level also resulted in a lot of delays and challenges in implementing the planned activities. Furthermore, ensuring adequate representation and participation in the LAG requires a lot of effort in a community where there is a lack of associated groups.

Project location and other information

The LAG area is in Southern Bulgaria, comprising the municipaties of Rhodope and Perushtica.



RDP Territory


Total project cost (€)

86 978

EAFRD contribution (€)

65 234

National contribution (€)

21 744

Project website

Contact name

Maria Valkanova



Languages for contact

English, Bulgarian

At a glance



Final beneficiary type

Public/local authorities, Local Action Group

Budget range

€20 000 - €99 999

Start date:


End Date:


Theme / Measure:

• Implementing the LEADER Approach
• Local Action Group management
• 431. Running the local action group, skills acquisition, animation


Governance, Skills acquisition, Leader, Local Action Group, Local development strategy

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