Based on the LEADER experiences, and with the aim to foster the ownership of the EU 2020 strategy, to facilitate bottom-up and integrated initiatives, the Commission proposed new tools such as “Community Led for Local Development” instrument, delivering a comprehensive approach of the challenges faced by rural and Rurban areas (urban –rural linkages strategies). The proposition must be welcomed, taking into account that the new instrument CLLD :
- Focuses on sub regional territories
- Respects Subsidiary and multi-level governance principles
- Is led by Local Action Groups (LAGs) composed by public, private actors and stakeholders from the civil society
- Matches development strategies with local particularities, needs and potentials through the LAG with the participation, the consultation and the cooperation of local stakeholders
However, as pointed out by the COTER Commission of the Committee of the Regions, in order to strengthen local development within EU policies and make the ownership and the success of such instrument becoming real, it is necessary to:
- Avoid excessive thematic concentration of the CLLD strategy i. e. on social inclusion activities considering that is a multi-purpose instrument focused on the local community needs facing specific challenges that go well beyond social inclusion. Local development policies are not sectoral policies but rather integrated strategies that combine multisectoral approaches with the perspective of a balanced territorial development.
- Focuses more on participation and tangible outcome for the benefit of the local community rather that paying too much attention at developing strategy and capacity building.
Regarding the lack of visibility of such instrument and taking into account the other existing and new tools such as ITI, to avoid confusion from local actors and optimizing cross-funding and real synergies under the Common Strategic Framework it should be highlighted that the CLLD can act as a “one-stop-shop” for local beneficiaries.