Romanian fishing activities mostly take place in lakes and ponds, rivers and marine waters from the Black Sea. CLLD addresses low income and poverty in the fisheries sector, and the increasing emigration from these areas, reducing the availability of human resources and affecting the potential to encourage new investment in local communities. In this context, organisational capacities at local level and within the administrations need to be increased. The 22 Romanian FLAGs promote economic diversification and new forms of income that can help revitalise their communities.
Agriculture, forestry and fishing represented about 24% of total employment in 2014. Between 2005 and 2014, the fisheries sector was in continuous decline due to the 2008-2009 economic crisis along with rising labour productivity, with numbers falling from 6 811 full-time equivalents (FTE) in 2005 to 3 600 in 2014. The aquaculture sector accounted for 3 930 people, among 601 women and 3 329 men) in 2014. A special case is the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, where in 2014 the population employed in fisheries and fish farming represented 35% (from approximately 27 000 inhabitants, with a total employed population of 81%).
Romanian fisheries areas include 5 000 km2 of lakes and ponds, 66 000 km of flowing water (of which 1 075 km of the Danube) and 25 000 km2 of marine waters from the Black Sea. The entire national territory is eligible for the EFF / EMFF.
A two page summary of the Operational Programme including contact details of the Managing Authority is available at the following link.
An overview of Romania’s EMFF programme is available at the following link.
Romania had an initial 14 FLAGs (3 coastal and 11 inland), among which 2 groups (from Botosani and Iasi counties) decided not to continue with Axis 4 seeing that they were unable to implement their strategies. Among the remaining 12 FLAGs, two were located at the Black Sea, one in the Danube Delta area, seven along the Danube and two on interior lakes. Except for the last two, the FLAG territories were located in the traditional fisheries basins in Romania.
Axis 4 implementation was largely delayed, due to a lack of local initiative in some fisheries communities and a limited capacity to set up FLAGs, the dominant role of local public authorities in some newly created FLAGs and poor local coordination between FLAGs and LAGs. However, significant progress was achieved between 2013-2015: the 12 Romanian FLAGs supported projects with a total value of about €37 million, of which many contributed to creating and maintaining jobs. It is estimated that approximately 900 new FTE jobs were created under EFF. Other projects contributed to diversifying and strengthening fisheries activities at local level, and to reviving and valorising local heritage and fisheries traditions.
The main challenges that community-led local development will have to address in Romania’s fisheries areas in the coming years are low income and poverty in the sector, and the increasing pressure on external migration in the areas, reducing the availability of human resources and affecting the potential to encourage new investment in local communities.
By increasing organisational capacities at the local level and within the administrations, CLLD in Romania aims to provide to the FLAGs a catalyst role for supporting and developing fisheries areas. FLAGs will promote economic diversification and new forms of income that can help revitalise their communities, in particular:
In the period 2014-2020, the number of FLAGs increased from 12 to 22. Compared to 2007-2013, the total budget for CLLD has fallen (from €100 million to €45 million), so the average budget per FLAG is significantly lower (falling from €3.5 million to €2 million), with exception for the Danube Delta FLAG still having a budget of €10 million.
There is no multi-funding of FLAGs in Romania and calls for the Fisheries Local Action Groups and the LEADER LAGs are organised separately. However, in practice, some inland FLAGs coordinate their activities with the neighbouring LAGs.
1.7 M€ for 21 FLAGs and 9.9 M€ for the Danube Delta FLAG.
An informal Romanian Federation of FLAGs played the role of the National Network (NN) during the 2007-2013 period. Currently this federation has split into two informal networks covering all FLAGs in Romania. To avoid duplication of work and to better coordinate with all FLAGs together, the Managing Authority will set up a NN Central Unit with a budget of €500 000 for the entire period.
The NN Central Unit will facilitate the sharing of experiences among FLAGs, and will collect and disseminate information and good practice examples with those involved in implementing CLLD. It also will facilitate exchange with the Romanian rural network.
The NN Central Unit is expected to be operational in 2019.
The Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development is responsible for selecting the FLAGs and the eight Regional Departments check the eligibility of the strategies first.
Following the first call for FLAGs launched in December 2016, 16 FLAGs are active with strategies under implementation in 2017. A second call has taken place in July 2017 and another 6 FLAGs were approved by the end of 2017.
FLAGs cover the entire national territory, and are located in the same traditional fisheries areas as in the 2007-2013 period (the Black Sea and Danube basins and the Danube Delta area), with new FLAGs in the rural areas with aquaculture.
Cooperation is strongly encouraged, both at the inter-territorial and transnational level. Cooperation projects will aim at boosting local administrative capacity and good governance and ensuring FLAGs sustainability in the long term by impacting on the local economy and creating employment, improving the management of fisheries and aquaculture sectors at the local level and, focusing on SMEs to add value to local products and traceability. Another objective is to collect relevant data in relation to the environment, natural landscapes and protected areas.
A total budget of €1 500 000 has been allocated for FLAG cooperation.
For information on cooperation click here.
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