RDP project database
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.
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.
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.
Total project cost (€)
EAFRD contribution (€)
National contribution (€)
Languages for contact
At a glance
Final beneficiary type
Public/local authorities, Local Action Group
€20 000 - €99 999
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