Fisheries Areas Network

Good Practice Method

National networks – connecting FLAGs and building local capacity in CLLD

Official Title: 
National networks – connecting FLAGs and building local capacity in CLLD


Context, needs, opportunity: 

National networks (NNs) play an important role in developing the capacity of FLAGs and managing authorities (MAs), and in stimulating and supporting transnational cooperation. In Estonia, the NN 2007-2013 worked in close collaboration with the MA to facilitate dialogue and ensure good cooperation between all actors involved in fisheries CLLD. It also developed information tools, and provided guidance and capacity building for the FLAGs.


  • Located within the Rural Economy Research Centre (State agency of the Estonian Ministry of Rural Affairs);
  • Annual work plan decided as a collaboration between MA-FLAGs;
  • Priorities established on the basis of a needs analysis survey of all FLAGs.

Key activities:

  • A one-year training programme for FLAGs: targeted at fishermen and fisheries organisations, and carried out in collaboration with the MA, the aim was to support the creation of the eight FLAGs (the establishment of local partnerships, the development of strategies and the launch of FLAG activities). The programme included training on project management, public procurement and communication, and was supported by a comprehensive guide (cost of the training programme: around €100 000, financed from national sources and technical assistance of the EFF).
  • The organisation of two annual meetings and a series of thematic training events, round tables and workshops aimed at reinforcing linkages between the FLAGs and MA, and fostering a shared understanding of programme implementation. Key themes addressed in the different meetings include:  delivery issues, national legislation and implementation rules. Audience: these events attracted around 40 participants, including all eight FLAG managers, together with board members, fishermen and other local stakeholders.
  • An evaluation assistance package, aimed at helping FLAGs to evaluate their work and to shape the future of CLLD in fisheries areas. For a total cost of around €15 000, this initiative included the following activities:
    • A workshop on evaluating FLAG result for the period 2007-2013 (carried out in March 2014);
    • A training event on how to prepare the new local development strategies;
    • On demand, FLAGs had the possibility to request ad hoc assistance from the evaluators to help develop their strategies.

The dissemination of information from the EU level, including outreach to the fisheries sector and the translation of FARNET material (guides and magazines). The cost of this activity was around 10% of the NN budget. 

Fostering cooperation:

  • Study visits in Europe (for example, fishermen from all eight Estonian FLAGs visited the Kazusbi FLAG in Poland to exchange experience on tourism and improving an areas attractiveness);
  • Support for the development of cooperation ideas.
Main achievements: 

Development of FLAG capacity and successful delivery of the Estonian programme for 2007-2013. The Estonian FLAGs were among the first to be operational (early 2010) and they supported more than 700 local projects.


19 out of 20 Member States implementing CLLD as part of the EMFF foresee networking support. The Estonian model could serve as an example of the type of support activities NNs can provide to FLAGs.


The participative process for deciding on priority activities and areas of thematic support improved the effectiveness and responsiveness of the NN to FLAG needs. This highlights the potential benefits of having a properly resourced network.



Experience in territorial development, ability to implement a bottom-up approach, communication skills and capacity to manage the day-to-day activities of the NN. 

Staff resources (FTE): 
Financial resources: 

€120 000 per year (technical assistance budget of the EFF 2007-2013)


Timeframe of implementation From Jan 2007 to Dec 2013
Sea Basins
Type of area


Fisheries Groups Network
Publication date: 
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