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Social inclusion for vibrant fishing communities: Jūrmala, Latvia 21-23 March 2017

At the initiative of the European Commission, and with the support of the Latvian Ministry of Agriculture and the Laukiem and Jūrai FLAG, FARNET's fourth transnational seminar of the 2014-2020 programming period will take place on 21-23 March 2017 in Jūrmala, Latvia.

The theme of the event is Social inclusion for vibrant fishing communities and is designed to help FLAGs:
• Promote and integrate social inclusion in their local development strategies, in particular providing better support to women and the local youth and a special focus on the unemployed;
• Share experiences on how FLAGs can cooperate with relevant stakeholder organisations active in the social integration of marginalised groups in their areas, including migrants and refugees;
• Better engage with the local fisheries sector to address the socio-economic impact of the CFP reform and other challenges for the small-scale fisheries sector, with regards to its ageing population and training needs.

The seminar will provide a framework for discussions and practical exercises based on successful cases from the EFF/EMFF, additional EU funding instruments, as well as further initiatives aimed at social inclusion. These themes will therefore be addressed through a series of presentations on good practices, working group discussions and a field visit.

FARNET Managing Authorities meeting 23-24.11.2016

Managing Authorities and National Networks met in Brussels on 23-24 November 2016 for an exchange focusing primarily on facilitating FLAG cooperation. The event was an opportunity for MAs to understand the provisions laid down at EU level and the key steps involved in developing cooperation projects. A series of working groups and informal clinics allowed participants to explore the different approaches around Europe to implementing cooperation and how best to harmonise national rules and procedures which, if not compatible, can pose serious barriers to FLAGs wishing to cooperate with other regions or countries. MAs and National Networks also worked through potential support activities that could be provided to FLAGs in order to maximize their ability to develop ideas, find partners and implement effective projects. Two additional themes addressed were simplifying CLLD delivery and strengthening the results-orientation of CLLD. Presentations included information from DG EMPL on simplified cost options and from DG MARE on the new reporting requirements for the EMFF.

"Boosting business along the fisheries supply chain": Thessaloniki, Greece 18-20 October 2016

At the initiative of the European Commission, and with the support of the Hellenic Ministry of Rural Development & Food and the Thessaloniki FLAG, FARNET's third transnational seminar of the 2014-2020 programming period took place on 18-20 October 2016. The theme of the event, “Boosting business along the fisheries supply chain”, was designed to equip Fisheries Local Action Groups with the tools to help local stakeholders tap into opportunities along the fisheries supply chain. In particular, the mix of plenary sessions and working groups focused on trends and opening up new markets for local fisheries and aquaculture products; linking the private sector with science and research; ensuring direct support is available to local businesses in FLAG areas; and better engaging aquaculture producers and fishermen (especially small scale and coastal) to work in new ways to boost business opportunities. The seminar was followed by a study visit to projects in the Thessaloniki FLAG area. 

FARNET Managing Authorities meeting 15-16.03.2016

The theme of the FARNET meeting for Managing Authorities and National Networks held on the 15-16 March 2016 was: “Streamlined and efficient delivery systems”. It dealt with the tools and processes which demonstrated results during the past period, including for the launch of preparatory support, the selection of FLAGS and their strategies, and simplified cost options. The meeting included an update from DG MARE on the state of play with regards to the implementation of the EMFF Operational Programmes and an overview of the challenges and opportunities ahead. A further session was dedicated to the setting-up of National Networks, making use of FARNET’s previous  experience and that of a number of MAs. And finally, given the focus on results in the new programming period, a session was also dedicated to the implementation of monitoring and evaluation systems and gave participants the opportunity to discuss the type of support required in order to be more effective in monitoring and evaluating fisheries CLLD.

"Implementing CLLD across the ESI Funds": Edinburgh, UK - 8-10 December 2015.

This first FARNET transnational seminar of the new programming period took place in Edinburgh, Scotland, from the 8th to 10th December 2015. It provided new opportunities for Managing Authorities (MAs) of the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds to learn, inspire and get inspired in implementing the CLLD approach, foster better cooperation and ensure the most efficient use of the funding available. 

The possibility of supporting CLLD has now been extended to all the ESI Funds. Uptake under the EAFRD and the EMFF is quite significant already, while the ERDF and ESF are now also adopting this approach and this is expected to provide an important boost to the impact of EU funding at local level. CLLD has an important role to play in addressing many of the challenges currently facing Europe, and projects and initiatives developed in this context could benefit from appropriate interventions from more than one fund. This seminar had as key aim to assist MAs in launching their CLLD programmes while strengthening cooperation between ESI Funds at EU level, and between MAs at national and regional level, with a view to encouraging a better integration of the funds locally.

You will find below a selection of outputs and guidelines produced during this two days event. Come back regularly as this page will be updated as new material is published.

FARNET Managing Authorities meeting 27-28.04.2015

The theme of the FARNET Managing Authorities/National Networks meeting on 27-28 April 2015 was “Getting the new FLAGs off the ground”. In particular, it dealt with exchanges around capacity building tools and methods. The meeting included an update from DG Mare on the state of play with regards to the EMFF Operational Programmes and an overview of new cooperation opportunities in the future. The meeting also involved a “Tool Fair”, in which the MAs and NNs each presented a capacity building tool or activity carried out or planned in their country to support the future round of FLAGs. A further session was dedicated to designing a first national kick-off meting for the new FLAGs, making use of the information and tools presented previously at the “Tool Fair”. The participants also had the opportunity to discuss the priorities for FARNET in 2014-2020 and the type of support MAs required in the future in order to be more effective in implementing fisheries CLLD.

FARNET Managing Authorities meeting 19-20.11.2014

Axis 4 Managing Authorities met in Brussels to exchange on key issues involved in finalising their EMFF Operational Programmes for the new period and moving towards implementation. The meeting included an update from DG Mare on the state of play with regards to programming CLLD under the different ESI funds, as well as a presentation on the Atlantic Action Plan and Atlantic Stakeholder platform, offering participants an opportunity to reflect on how their EMFF and CLLD strategies linked up with broader maritime basin strategies. The meeting then moved on to smaller, practical working groups addressing the following themes: FLAG transition and mobilising preparatory support; transferring the EMFF regulation into practice and National/Regional legislation; the steps to plan for when selecting the new round of FLAGs; and setting up national FLAG networks. A further session was dedicated to reflecting on the type of support MAs required in the future in order to be more effective in their programming and implementing of fisheries CLLD.

Southwest FLAG Lab: learning lessons on successful FLAG practice

French, Spanish and Portuguese FLAGs met in Barcelona the 22-23 September to look back at the results and challenges of the 2007-2013 funding period. This seminar was organised with the support of the French, Spanish and Portuguese administrations and involved a series of presentations and working group discussions. Topics addressed included various areas of FLAG work and, in particular, their experience of mobilising their local communities, supporting project development, selecting the most effective projects and communication activities. Exchanges also took place around the kinds of activities that FLAGs could undertake to monitor, evaluate and improve their work.  Finally, four working groups each developed proposals for the sorts of skills, experience and resources FLAG teams should aim to secure in order to be effective in the future.  The seminar was followed on the 24th September by a project visit to the Delta del Ebro FLAG.




FARNET Managing Authorities meeting 25-26.03.2014

 The FARNET Managing Authorities meeting on 25-26 March 2014 focused on preparing for CLLD in the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) for 2014-2020. The core activity was the “OP clinic”, an in-depth analysis of the different sections of the EMFF Operational Programme followed a series of small group discussions aimed to identify and address key questions the MAs had in relation to programming Union Priority 4 of the EMFF: increasing employment and territorial cohesion in fisheries areas. The discussion themes included identification of needs and objectives, describing the national approach to fisheries CLLD, defining selection criteria for FLAGs, ensuring adequate funding and determining the role of different actors in the delivery chain. There was also an exchange about different MA approaches to capacity building and preparatory support for FLAGs in order to ensure high quality local partnerships and strategies.

Telling the Story: is CLLD something to eat?

The conference "Telling the Story – Communicating European Structural and Investment Funds 2014-2020" was organised by the European Commission in Brussels on 9-10 December 2013. More than 700 participants, from and outside the EU, took part to this event co-organised by DG-REGIO, DG-EMPL, DG-AGRI and DG-MARE of the European Commission.