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 Dear LEADER friends!
 I hope you enjoyed the summer and gained a lot of  energy for your autumn  and winter activities. In most  countries we are just at the real start of the  programming  period 2014-2020, having first calls and expecting brand  new  projects for developing rural areas across Europe. This programming period is  very different with regard to the LEADER approach which has gained broader  perspective and potential under the Community-led local development umbrella. It is really nice to see that the majority of EU countries accepted the challenge of multifund CLLD approach and we all in ELARD hope that for the next programming period it will be already adopted as an automatic mechanism. It is true to say that for a really integrated rural development it is crucial to combine different resources including the European, national, regional and local ones. Moreover, it is more and more important to perceive rural development as an integral part of the regional development and focus on fostering rural-urban cooperation and linkages. One of the priorities of a modern EU cohesion policy is to put together all the different pieces of regional development as a puzzle to create a nice and consistent picture of European development and prosperity.

Unfortunately, with the new concept of multifund CLLD we are also facing many challenges and problems. European policies used to be designed on a sectoral principle and, therefore, it is a very challenging exercise, especially for the European Commission and managing authorities, to change their mindset regarding the integrated approach and cooperation. I am sure you all are facing bigger or smaller troubles connected to this paradigm shift which are in real LAG life leading to nonsense bureaucracy and limitations. It is my pleasure to work on behalf of the Czech National Network of LAGs in Georgia inseminating the LEADER seed as a part of the ENPARD project and I am so happy to bring ELARD, i.e. all of you with your incredible experience and expertise, to follow-up project in this beautiful country. It is the main missions of ELARD to return the LEADER principle, upgraded with the amazing multifund opportunity, to its roots. ELARD is a big family including all of you, apostles of LEADER, and we need all of you to be a part of this mission. We need to teach the spirit of LEADER to all important actors on both national and European level, i.e. managing authorities, ministries, politicians, the European Commission, European Parliament, Council of the EU, European Court of Auditors etc.

„If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far come together“... I am looking forward to cooperation on this uneasy LEADER mission with all of you... together we can make it!!! 
All the best in everything you do!

Radim Sršen
ELARD Vice-president 
ELARD activities: workshop in Brussels
ELARD's workshop CLLD – How does it really work?” at the European Week of Regions and Cities which will be held in Brussels on 12th of October 2016.
The 14th European Week of Regions and Cities will focus on the challenges currently facing Europe's regions and cities. Building on the implementation cycle of EU cohesion policy programs, the event will be aligned with the political priorities of the European Commission's and the European Committee of the Regions for 2016 and with the interests of the partner regions and cities. Read more
ELARD activities: conference in Estonia
The ELARD conference “Renewing LEADER/CLLD for 2020+; Celebrating 25 years of LEADER in Europe!” will be held in Estonia on 22-23 November 2016.
The expected result of the conference would be the declaration of LEADER/CLLD for the period of 2021–2027 for submitting to the European Commission and the managing authorities of the member states.
We expect approximately 150 participants to take part in the conference, representing local action groups, including also FLAGs, Urban LAGs and other actors working with the LEADER method, as well as cooperation partners across Europe, the European Commission, representatives of ENRD, national rural networks and managing authorities of the member states. Read more
ELARD activities: ELARD members' analysis

ELARD members' analysis 2016 is ready and available on ELARD website. In the document you will find interesting information about members' characteristics, LEADER/CLLD figures in different countries, needs and challenges regarding implementing LEADER/CLLD. Altogether 20 members out of 22 provided answers for the questionnaire, which amounts to a relatively high percentage (90%) of responses. ELARD member networks include about 1,250 LAGs as members, but they usually represent all LAGs in their country and the total number of these is 1,951. While collecting the information for analysis, ELARD member networks asked for input from their LAGs. This analysis represents the opinions of national LEADER and rural development networks and LAGs in ELARD member countries.

Please read the analysis here.
ELARD members: Minha Terra – Portuguese   Federation of Local  Development Associations

 Briefly about the network

 Minha Terra – Portuguese Federation of Local    Development Associations  (LDA) was established in    2000 as a nonprofit organization. Then a group of  Local  Development Associations acting as Local Action Groups  (or lead partners of Local Action Groups) decided to  formalize a network that had been growing stronger for a decade, sharing the same aims, principles, and values, as well as an extensive experience of joint work, designing and implementing solutions and interventions in favour of the development of rural areas. Read more

ELARD members: Local Development Sweden (LUS)

 Briefly about the network

 LUS – Lokal Utveckling Sverige (Local  development Sweden) started up as an informal network  and working group during the last programming period,  already in 2009. This working group became a member of  ELARD in 2012. Out of this initiative of people and LAGs,  the organization LUS was founded in 2015. Read more

ELARD president´s visit to Macedonia (FYROM)
On 26th-27th of May 2016 ELARD president Kristiina Tammets visited Macedonia (FYROM) to get more familiar with ELARD candidate member - Macedonian Rural Development Network and to get an overview about LEADER approach development in Macedonia. Petar Gjorgievski hosted the visit and organized meetings with IPARD program managing authority, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management and local action groups in Staro Nagoricane and Strumica. “My impression is very positive, I saw beatiful country and a lot of LEADER spirit and ethusiasm of local communities to stand for their villages and develop local action groups” has been said by Kristiina Tammets. According to Petar Gjorgievski they expect the formation of 5 LAGs by the end of 2016 and some more in 2017. Read more
ELARD representatives´ visit to Poland
On 9th of June ELARD president Kristiina Tammets, vice-president Radim Sršen and core team member Kirsten Birke Lund attended LEADER seminar in Poland, which was held in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The aim of the visit was to clarify ELARD full membership issues with Polish Network of LAGs and exchange CLLD implementation experience. Read more
ELARD president´s visit to France
On 26th of August ELARD president Kristiina Tammets had meeting with Thibaut Guignard, president of LEADER France, and his team in Saint Brieuc, France. Main aim of the bilateral meeting was to get to know LEADER/CLLD situation in France and find new possibilities for co-operation between French National LEADER Network and European LEADER Association. Read more
Visit to Ireland

On 7th of September ELARD president Kristiina Tammets accompanied by Kirsten Birke Lund, Radim Sršen, Marina Brakalova, Vanessa Halhead and Michael Dower had a nice opportunity to get to know more about Irish LAGs. We visited LAG IRD Duhallow whose board member Jack Roche is also the representative of Irish LAGs in ELARD and who was about 10 years ago the president of ELARD. Read more
Visit to Slovenia

On the 9th and 10th of September the Slovenian Network of LAGs organized an international conference to encourage LAGs to start new TNC projects and contribute to inter-territorial co-operation. ELARD president delivered a presentation on results related to TNC projects during the previous programming period and shared good examples of inter-territorial co-operation. Read more
ELARD policy work - reports of the meetings, important events

Cork Declaration and summaries of workshops (5.-6.09.2016)

Minutes of the Civil Dialogue Group on Rural Development meeting (20.09.2016)

Report of the Meeting of the European Countryside Movement (19.09.2016)
Upcoming events 
6 - 8 October 2016
Scottish Rural Parliament 2016, Brechin, Scotland, United Kingdom
12 October 2016
CLLD – How Does it Really Work?, Brussels, Belgium
25 October 2016
Rural Networks' Steering Group Meeting, Brussels, Belgium
8 - 9 November 2016
Launching LEADER Cooperation North and South, Newry, Co. Down, Northern Ireland, UK
22 - 23 November 2016
Renewing LEADER/CLLD for 2020+, Tartu, Estonia
ELARD’s General Assembly
1 December 2016
Rural Networks' Assembly, Brussels, Belgium
6 - 7 December 2016
EU Agricultural Outlook Conference, Brussels, Belgium
7 - 8 December 2016
Achieving Results the CLLD Way, Sweden
Copyright © 2016 ELARD Aisbl, All rights reserved.

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