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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The FARNET meeting of EFF Managing Authorities in Brussels on the 24th and 25th of September as part of the regular programme of Axis 4 meetings focused on ‘Successful Programming’. The theme and agenda were developed from the Managing Authorities survey conducted by the FARNET Support Unit during the summer. Four main themes were discussed during the working groups: selection criteria and procedures for areas; selection criteria and procedures for Local Development Strategies, Network development and the definition and allocation of roles. The second day concentrated on evaluation. The group firstly heard from the CapGemini consultants who are conducting the Axis 4 study for DG Mare before inputs and working sessions on the strengthened approach to evaluation for the EMFF. There was a specific focus on the process of evaluation planning, its relevance to MAs and FLAGs and their respective roles.
“The theme of FARNET Managing Authorities meeting on 12-13 March 2013 was “Looking ahead and delivering”. It dealt with issues related to the implementation of the current Axis 4 as well as information and ideas concerning preparation for the future Operational Programmes. Presentations and discussion in small groups focused on: how FLAGs can contribute to the development of the fisheries sector and fisheries areas, the Commission’s guidance on CLLD, draft templates of the Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes, as well as an exchange on different approaches to eligibility.”
The meeting was focused on getting ready for the “double challenge” of the nearest months in the context of implementation of the EFF: getting the best results out of the present funding period while preparing to take the opportunities offered in the proposals for the future period. After the introduction and the discussion of key tasks and milestones to be completed with regard to the present and future programming periods, the results of thematic case studies carried out in 9 countries were presented; these case studies looked at the role of the FLAG in relation to the fisheries sector, to other development actors in the area and in the delivery chain. The following sessions focused on drawing lessons from the present period in order to improve the delivery systems for the future. The participants had also the opportunity to discuss how the delivery systems impact the practice on the ground, on the basis of the analysis of projects approved by the FLAGs from several countries.
MAs prepare for transition to the next programming period
The FSU hosted a meeting for representatives from MAs and NNs on the 15th and 16th of February 2012 which addressed the challenges they face in the transition between the current and forthcoming programmes including the coordination demands implied by the proposed Partnership Contracts. The meeting brought together around 50 participants, including MAs from around Europe, the European Commission and FSU team members. In particular, the presentations and working group sessions focused on addressing the implications of the Common Strategic Framework and the Partnership Contracts as well as the implications of the proposed EMFF for Community Led Local Development in fisheries areas. Participants took account of MA, FLAG and Network perspectives as they worked through the practical challenges and timing considerations associated with preparing for the next period. The meeting also included short sessions on the facilitating of lists of all Axis 4 projects by each Member State and on Axis 4 publicity and visibility.