The FLAG area covers the Satu Mare county in the northwest of Romania. It is partly made up of the Oaș mountain, which are part of the Eastern Carpathians. The remainder is hills, forming 20% of the area, and plains and the western county takes up the eastern part of the Pannonian plain. The FLAG area is crossed by the Someș, Tur, and Crasna rivers. It has a diverse economy which includes machine building, furniture production and textiles and food. It has a well-developed primary sector and a growing tertiary sector. Industry and trade account for a large proportion of local employment in the area (75%), followed by the agricultural and fisheries sector which accounts for 25%. There are 12 aquaculture units: 10 fishing facilities and a large African catfish farming and processing unit and a reservoir.
The main challenges for the FLAG include a growing outward migration of young people, making the generational transference of fisheries knowledge difficult. Other challenges include poor public infrastructure; high unemployment and the insufficient exploitation of human and natural resources.
The FLAG area includes three Natura 2000 sites, the Tur river and the Carei and Lerului plains, which cover a total of 840km2
The FLAG’s strategy is focused on sustainable development. It pursues the development and diversification of economic activities, the development of tourism in relation to existing natural resources, the development of aquaculture, and the provision of further educational opportunities in the area.
Results to date include:
FLAG projects examples and ideas include:
The FLAG lacks experience in cooperation but is open to future cooperation projects on themes such as the development of aquaculture, tourism and other opportunities which are mutually beneficial to local communities.
As well as its municipalities, the Satu Mare FLAG members include five fish farms, four organisations involved in recreational fishing, three accommodation providers, an accountancy firm and the local LEADER LAG.