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Is there a risk that the budgets for FLAGs are too large?

There are risks associated with budgets that are disproportionately large in relation to the size of the area, its experience of local development and the readiness of local projects. The imperative to commit budget and spend may impact on the mix of project types, project promoters and beneficiaries. If the budget is very large, then there is a strong risk that, in order to achieve budgetary targets, resources will be switched into larger scale public infrastructure projects having little connection with the strategy for Axis 4.

A critical factor here is that bottom up projects forming a local development strategy usually take time to mature. This is particularly the case for the private and community based projects, which according to the EFF Regulation (Article 45.4) are expected to represent the majority of the operations.

At the selection stage, one of the criteria for assessing the strategies of the FLAGs should therefore be that the actions and resources foreseen are realistic and in proportion to the needs and capacity of the area to absorb them, particularly with regards to the feasibility of obtaining the minimum private co-financing required for certain projects.