1. Key messages about local development and CLLD in this country
In Sweden, CLLD can be funded from all the four ESI Funds which allow this approach: EAFRD, EMFF, ESF and ERDF. Sweden has gone a long way towards integrating the different funding sources by setting up a single Managing Authority (MA), a common IT system and a common implementation system. After initial difficulties, this implementation system seems to be working quite efficiently.
One National Network (managed by the same institution as the MA) is providing support to all LAGs and FLAGs irrespective of the source of CLLD funding, as well as to the Managing Authority, organises thematic working groups, facilitates exchange and learning between CLLD stakeholders, identifies and promotes good practices.
3. Possibility of multi-funding (linking several Funds in one strategy)
It is possible to link several Funds in one strategy, the (F)LAGs were free to select the Funds they would like to use. Many different combinations of Funds are observed.
4. Number of LAGs
Number of LAGs using this Fund
Total number of LAGs
In total, there are 48 LAGs using CLLD funding, of which eight use all four Funds.
In addition, there are 5 LAGs which were not successful in applying for CLLD funding, so they do not use EAFRD, EMFF, ESF or ERDF, but they still operate in a similar way as the “official” LAGs, although on a smaller scale, using local/private funding sources.
5. Purposes, objectives for which CLLD is used
CLLD in Sweden is applied mainly in rural areas and in smaller towns (not in big cities). Local strategies focus mostly on tourism, small-scale food production, energy and social inclusion (e.g. integration of migrants and refugees). Many projects, especially funded from EMFF, have a strong environmental focus, e.g. sustainable management of fish resources. Innovation and attracting young people and businesses to the rural areas are also important themes.
6. State of play
All the (F)LAGs are operational and selecting projects, but at the start of the funding period there were some delays caused by problems with the IT system, the need to reconcile different administrative cultures of the different Funds and insufficient knowledge about CLLD. In multi-funded FLAGs additional delays were created with projects applying for the smaller Funds, as priority was given first of all to beneficiaries of the largest Fund (EAFRD).
Starting from 2018, these initial difficulties were to a large extent smoothed out.
7. Key achievements so far
Setting up the delivery system for a multi-funded CLLD and getting it to function was in itself a major achievement. The key factors of success were determination of the MA to resolve administrative problems, good quality (eventually) of the IT system and good communication and trust between the LAGs and the programme authorities.
According to the (F)LAGs, local actors are satisfied with having access to a variety of funding sources and (F)LAGs appreciate the possibility to respond to the needs of different stakeholders.
However, no in-depth evaluation of CLLD in Sweden is as yet available (as far as we know).
8. Key barriers encountered
Getting multi-funded CLLD off the ground proved quite challenging at the beginning and the start-up phase took longer than expected.
The need to deal with different (and quite detailed) rules of each of the Funds remains problematic for many beneficiaries, especially smaller ones.
9. Some national specificities
The Swedish model is characterised with the following:
- high level of integration between the different Funds,
- high degree of trust between stakeholders, with a strong role of National Network
- high level of administrative complexity
- strong role of NGOs in LAG decision-making boards (including environmental NGOs).
Main author: Urszula Budzich-Tabor
Series coordination and editing: Urszula Budzich-Tabor, Stefan Kah, Haris Martinos