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What is the meaning of critical mass?

In the EFF Regulation the term “critical mass” is applied to the territory covered by the FLAG. This should “be coherent and have sufficient critical mass in terms of human, financial and economic resources to support a viable local development strategy” (A45.3).

In other words, critical mass refers basically to the relationship between the size of the area (in physical, population and economic terms) and the resources available to the FLAG through Axis 4 (both financial and human). The key test is that both the area and the resources available through Axis 4 have to be sufficient to support a viable local development strategy. There needs to be enough “critical mass” to realistically achieve what is proposed in the strategy.

If the area is too small, it is likely to be difficult to find the private resources, human capital and experience to implement the strategy. If, on the other hand, the area is too large, the impact of Axis 4 is likely to be insignificant in relation to the problems of the area.