GUIDANCE ON COMMUNITY-LED LOCAL DEVLEOPMENT FOR BENEFICIARIES OF THE EUROPEAN STRUCTURAL AND INVESTMENT FUNDS 2014-2020
As Community-led Local Development in the Structural and Investment Funds (2014-2020) gathers momentum, the European Commission has taken the initiative to provide practical guidance to local actors and partnerships on how to engage with, and roll out implementation of CLLD. New guidance on CLLD to beneficiaries is in development. This complements the guidance prepared in 2012 to inform and offer practical guidance to Managing Authorities in Member States on implementation of CLLD in the Structural and Investment Funds (2014-2020).
The preparation of the guidance for beneficiaries is an initiative led by DG Regional and Urban Policy. As well as providing information to local actors and partnerships on CLLD, it is anticipated that the guide could help to generate demand for CLLD from the bottom up.
A workshop was held in Brussels, hosted by DG REGIO, on 5th July 2013, involving experts and practitioners on local development including many members of LDnet. Workshop participants also included personnel from the relevant services of the Commission in DG REGIO, AGRI and EMPL. The purpose of this meeting was to collect ideas, identify issues and provide evidence and examples of possible actions that will help local practitioners roll out CLLD.
It was a productive meeting and generated a wealth of ideas and examples from practice and initiatives across the EU Member States. The idea is that the guidance to beneficiaries will tap into this wealth of experience, providing practical examples throughout to illustrate and help interpret the guidance.
The guidance starts with why CLLD? – what it can offer in the rapidly changing situation facing different local areas in Europe. It then goes on to develop the following issues:
How to launch a CLLD strategy and partnership in seven steps. This makes reference to and draws on many existing useful guides and examples of how to design and implement a CLLD strategy and set up an effective partnership.
Why and how to develop CLLD in cities. This makes the point that the current model of CLLD has been most widely used in rural and coastal areas. However, there is also a wealth of relevant experience in urban areas. This part provides guidance on how to use CLLD to deal with some of the specific challenges faced by cities. The focus here is on processes of getting CLLD “up and running” in the different contexts of cities and how to build CLLD into the picture, for instance, to complement practices of integrated urban planning and development. It acknowledges differences and shows how CLLD can apply in different urban configurations (e.g. a deprived neighbourhood with significant youth unemployment and migrant populations, large system built housing estates on the urban fringe shrinking cities, and urban rural transition areas).
Why and how to carry out CLLD for social inclusion. This looks at the potential for CLLD to be used effectively for dealing with problems of deprived groups, or for social inclusion. It acknowledges that areas are typically presented with complex problems here and identifies what CLLD can add.
How to ensure CLLD meets the new challenges faced by cities in the various part of Europe. This section starts by highlighting the scale of, and variations in, the challenges across Europe. It emphasises the need for new thinking, new approaches particularly on how to use CLLD for job creation, to meet some of short term and long term challenges thrown up by the crisis and the need to reconnect with energy on the ground.
How to combine with other funds and improve results. The Commission’s proposals for CLLD insist that coordination of support for CLLD from the various ESI funds offers the potential to increase the effectiveness of the funds by improving coherence. The guidance acknowledges that there are many ways and levels at which this can be achieved – including making full use of the proposals for joint funding. This section aims to provide practical examples and models of the different options and steps.
How to make CLLD safer, faster and easier for everyone. This covers issues including the overall delivery chain and delivery systems at local level including use of simplified cost options, use of intermediary bodies and innovative aspects of financing including for instance, Local Exchange and Trading Systems and “crowd funding”.