While sea fisheries in Poland suffer from decreasing fish stocks in the main catching area (the Baltic Sea), inland aquaculture still has significant potential for growth (mainly carp). The use of this potential, along with an increase of fish product consumption, appears to be the main challenge that CLLD has to address. The focus of the 36 Polish FLAGs is more on the fisheries sector and job creation, than on the development of coastal areas in general.
Although per capita consumption of fish and seafood is fairly low (22nd position in EU in 2013), in 2014 Poland was the 9th largest importer of fish from outside the EU among the Member States, and also the 12th largest extra-EU exporter in terms of volume.
Sea fisheries products prevail in terms of volume (ca 80% of supply, some 180 000 tonnes), but the importance of inland aquaculture is growing. Carp production plays a major role as Poland is the main European market for live carp, with consumption exceeding 21 000 tonnes (2013). Poland also is the largest producer of smoked salmon in the EU (over 55,000 tonnes in 2013, which accounts for 1/3 of EU production).
The Polish fisheries sector has 7845 full-time equivalent employees (FTE), of which 18% in the marine fisheries, 56% in aquaculture and 26% in inland fisheries. The fish processing sector accounts for another 15 088 FTE (4th in the EU, as of 2015, after Spain; France and UK).
Contact details of the managing authority can be found here.
More information about national EMFF programmes can be found here.
In the previous programming period, Poland had a total of 48 FLAGs (9 coastal and 39 inland). The Polish FLAGs supported a very high number of projects (in total approximately 5 500) of which many contributed to creating and maintaining jobs (according to a FARNET study carried out in 2016, each Polish FLAG created on average 87 new jobs and maintained 52 jobs, although these figures are based on estimates and should be treated with care).
A large part of these projects contributed to diversifying fisheries area, upgrading aquaculture production, promoting fisheries areas and valorising their heritage. Polish FLAGs were also quite active in inter-regional cooperation.
While sea fisheries face a biological barrier of fish supply in the main catching area (the Baltic Sea), inland aquaculture still has significant potential of growth. The use of this potential along with an increase of fish product consumption appear to be the main challenges for the sector in the 2014-2020 perspective.
The Polish MA is expecting fisheries CLLD to contribute to the creation of 375 jobs and maintain an additional 375 jobs in fisheries areas, and to help create 110 new businesses.
In 2007-2013, Poland allocated nearly 26% of its EFF budget (€190 million) to CLLD and FLAGs were expected to play an important role in the overall development of fisheries areas, supporting infrastructural investments and a wide range of educational and cultural projects as well as fisheries businesses. In the 2014-2020 period, the CLLD budget is significantly lower (€79.7 million, i.e. 16% of the total EMFF budget) and the focus is more on the fisheries sector and job creation and less on the development of fisheries areas. The number of FLAGs decreased from 48 to 36: most of the coastal areas previously covered by Axis 4 still are included in fisheries CLLD, but there are fewer inland FLAGs, due to a stricter definition (compared to the previous period) of what can be defined as a “fisheries area”. The total area covered by FLAGs has been reduced from 70 000 km2 to 57 900 km2.
The creation of the National Network was envisaged in the OP but it has not been formally launched. Networking activities are carried out by the Managing Authority, financed from Technical Assistance (TA). An amount of €10 000 per year is earmarked to cover the organisation of one national FLAG meeting; while all the other NN activities will have to be funded from TA on a case-by-case basis.
A bottom-up FLAG network, in the form of six regional networks and a nationwide convention of Polish FLAGs (Konwent Polskich LGR), functioned in 2007-2013 and some of its activities are continuing in the 2014-2020 period. Its primary role is advocacy, and representing the FLAGs in their contacts with the MA, PA, IBs etc.
Polish FLAGs can also benefit from capacity building and other support for CLLD provided by the Polish National Rural Network (KSOW).
Click hereNational Network contact details.
For the EMFF funding period, 84 cooperation projects were reported by the managing authority by December 2021. Most projects focused on diversifying into tourism and promoting local fish products. Some of the more innovative cooperation projects include the transfer of sustainable inland fishing techniques from Finland and a joint educational campaign for children and youth and training for restaurant chefs to promote inland fish consumption between two Polish FLAGs.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development acts as the national Managing Authority (MA) and is responsible for designing the delivery procedures, overall monitoring and evaluation and reporting to the EC, while the 16 regional Marshall Offices (intermediate bodies; IBs) are responsible for selecting the F/LAGs, the day-to-day contact with the groups, eligibility checks of projects, and monitoring of F/LAG activities.
The call for F/LAGs was launched in Autumn 2015 (with the deadline of the 31st of December), and the final approval of the FLAGs and the strategies was completed in all regions by May 2016.
As in the previous period, there is at least one FLAG in each of the 16 Polish regions. The highest number of FLAGs were selected by the two regions on the Baltic sea coast, Pomeranian (Pomorskie) and Western Pomeranian (Zachodniopomorskie) – 15 FLAGs in total, of which 9 are coastal. The remaining FLAGs are inland.
Out of the 36 FLAGs in Poland, 24 are mono-fund EMFF, and the remaining 12 are multi-funded (of those, 2 have EMFF as Lead Fund, 9 have EAFRD and 1 has ESF as Lead Fund).
The Polish Partnership Agreement (PA) envisages CLLD in four of the five ESI Funds and opens up the possibility of multi-funded strategies. However, the decision concerning CLLD in the ERDF and ESF was delegated to the regional Intermediate Bodies and only two out of 16 Polish regions have decided to use this option: Kujawsko-Pomorskie and Podlaskie. In these two regions LAGs can potentially use the four funds in a single strategy. In other regions LAGs can use EAFRD and EMFF at strategy level, and in some regions they may also have access to ERDF and ESF on a project-by-project basis.
The call for Local Development Strategies was harmonised across the Funds, with joint selection bodies in all the regions and common selection criteria. LAGs can use EMFF if they have at least 50 fishermen in the area and total value of fish production at least €300 000 (approximately). However, if the LAG would like to be mono-funded from EMFF, it must have at least 70 fishermen and fish production of around €600 000 minimum. For multi-funded LAGs there are provisions for lead fund, with a formula which ensures a fair distribution of running costs between all Funds.
A significant effort was made to simplify the delivery of CLLD and delegate more functions to the LAGs. A number of new instruments such as umbrella projects and Simplified Cost Options have been introduced (the SCO so far only within EAFRD). Some rules on eligibility, project approval and reporting could not be harmonised, and individual projects cannot be multi-funded.
|Code||Name||Region||Surface area (km²)||Population||Population density (per km²)||Employment in fisheries*|
|PL201||Szczecin Lagoon FLAG||
|PL202||Western Pomeranian FLAG||
|PL203||Sea and Parseta River FLAG||596||73984||124||708|
|PL206||Drawa and Walcz Leader Partnership FLAG||
|PL207||Lake District Leader FLAG||
|PL208||Rural Development Initiative FLAG||
|PL210||Leba River Basin FLAG||
|PL211||North Kaszuby FLAG||
|PL212||Vistula Spit Fishing Community FLAG||
|PL214||Bytow Lake District FLAG||
|PL216||Vistula Lagoon FLAG||
|PL217||Great Masurian Lakes FLAG||
|PL218||Masurian Sea FLAG||
|PL219||Suwalki-Augustow Lake District FLAG||
Suwalki-Augustow lake District
|PL220||Brodnica Lake District FLAG||
|PL221||Our Krajna and Paluki FLAG||
|PL222||Dobiegniew Lake District FLAG||1768||70941||42||113|
|PL223||Notec River FLAG||1967||77650||40||96|
|PL224||7 Fish FLAG||1817||115154||62||86|
|PL225||Good Roe FLAG||
|PL226||Zegrze Lagoon FLAG||733||95000||130||57|
|PL227||Valley of Tysmienica and Wieprz FLAG||1920||97703||51||165|
|PL228||Fruit Trail FLAG||810||61830||76||75|
|PL230||Sandomierz Forest FLAG||
|PL232||Carp Valley FLAG||310||56501||184||177|
|PL233||Jurassic Fish FLAG||
|PL234||Bielska Land FLAG||
|PL235||Opole Region FLAG||
|PL236||Barycz Valley Partnership FLAG||1662||98097||59||271|