1. Key messages about local development and CLLD in this country
CLLD is implemented almost exclusively through LEADER, with the exception of one ERDF funded LAG in The Hague.
3. Possibility of multi-funding (linking several Funds in one strategy)
No multi-funding used in the Netherlands.
4. Number of LAGs
Number of LAGs using this Fund
Total number of LAGs
There are a variety of initiatives by provinces and municipalities supporting social cohesion and liveability, mostly through smaller projects. See for example: https://www.leefbaarplattelandflevoland.nl/
5. Purposes, objectives for which CLLD is used
For LEADER, the Local Development Strategies include three of the following indicative themes:
• (future) population decline;
• (social) innovations and their application;
• economic boost in lagging, less urbanized regions;
• circular economy, bio-based economy and sustainable energy;
• strengthening the relationship between town and country: creating a connection between demand from the city and supply in the countryside, realising committed citizenship and improved social support for the agricultural sector;
• expanding and improving the (agri) tourism infrastructure;
• multifunctional land and water use;
• nature and environmental education; or
• activities or meeting places that increase social cohesion in rural areas.
Other than LEADER, only the city of The Hague implements CLLD. The main goal of this initiative is to strengthen the local economy in an innovative and sustainable way. In the neighbourhood of Scheveningen, the LAG Stichting Initiatief Op Scheveningen (SioS) developed projects funded from the ERDF between 2016 and 2019. These projects aimed improving the employment opportunities in the area. For 2021-27, the city of The Hague is exploring opportunities to start new LAGs in additional neighbourhoods, which would be focusing on energy transition.
6. State of play
By the end of August 2021, €34.5 million (89%) of the EAFRD funding had been absorbed. From the 20 LEADER LAGs that started, one has ceased its activities. The last project calls were in 2021.
In terms of the ERDF funded urban CLLD LAG, SioS had been active for the past five years. Currently, The Hague is exploring opportunities to broaden the scope and start LAGs in three different neighbourhoods.
7. Key achievements so far
The LEADER LAGs have implemented 502 projects as well as 4 cooperation projects funded by the EAFRD.
The urban LAG SioS in Scheveningen has successfully implemented 30 different projects in which local entrepreneurs, civil society and citizens have been involved. Currently, The Hague is supporting new LAGs to organise themselves and start projects related to energy transition. The aim is to have these three LAGs active by 2022.
8. Key barriers encountered
In LEADER, the Local Development Strategies were only selected and approved in the second half of 2015. This resulted in a very late start of projects. Also, the administrative burden proved to be challenging for LAGs and in some provinces the co-financing was difficult to arrange.
Some key messages from the urban CLLD LAG in The Hague are:
- CLLD takes time and dedication. This means that CLLD needs to be implemented in the organisation for the long run to ensure its sustainability both financially as well as organisationally.
- Investment in building trust, in this stage direct involvement of local government is necessary to function as a trustworthy partner.
- Every area needs a (slightly) different approach.
- Bureaucratic complications should not become obstacles for the LAG.
9. Some national specificities
The 20 Dutch LAGs do not cover the entire rural territory of the Netherlands.
Authors: Thamar Kok and Josh Geuze
Series coordination and editing: Urszula Budzich-Tabor, Stefan Kah, Haris Martinos