abstracted from National Strategic Plan LEADER 2014+
RURAL AREAS AS A COMMUNITY OF HAPPY, CONTENDED AND SECURED PEOPLE, WHO SUSTAIN AND DEVELOP THE RURAL VALUES IN CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND SOCIAL RELATIONS AND AT THE SAME TIME THEY COOPERATE WITH EACH OTHER AS WELL AS WITH THEIR NEIGHBOURS AT HOME AND ABROAD.
RURAL AREAS ARE A SELF-CONFIDENT AND EQUAL PARTNER OF A CITIES AND THEY MANAGE THEIR RESOURCES THRIFTILY AND RESPONSIBLY, PROTECT AND DEVELOP THE RURAL ENVIRONMENT, SETTLEMENTS AND LANDSCAPE, INHERITED FROM ITS ANCESTORS SO THAT THEY ARE WELL KEPT FOR THEMSELVES AND FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS.
National strategic plan LEADER 2014+ is a strategic material, thematically and temporally focused on LEADER method implementation in rural development in the period after 2013. The document has been created by the National local action groups network of the Czech Republic, as a main representative of LEADER movement in the Czech Republic. The document serves as a preliminary material for a discussion about the future of LEADER method in the Czech Republic, about its use in future rural development programmes as well as in other activities developing and supporting the rural areas in our country.
Projects implemented using LEADER method are thematically similar to actions implemen-ted in other programmes; the main benefit of LEADER method is the way how the rural development actions are implemented and how they are mutually linked inside the rural regions and communities as well as by means of the rural communities. Local community and partnership of citizens, local administration, non-profit organisations and entrepre-neurs, create together structures called Local action group (LAG) which elaborate a local development strategy and are responsible for its implementation. The philosophy comes out of a belief, that only local communities know their strengths and weaknesses well and they are able to solve their own problems themselves.
For the programming period 2014 2020, following is proposed: LEADER method becomes a part of all operational programmes, which will implement their targets in rural areas; more-over, these programmes incorporate LAGs into their implementation structures as effective representatives of rural communities. LEADER approach, based on integrated approach and multi-sector partnership of local administration, entrepreneurs and civil society, should become an overall method for detection and financing the specific needs of rural areas.
We assume 100% coverage of rural areas in the Czech Republic by a network of local action groups, voluntarily established according to current LEADER rules. Approximately 40 new LAGs, newly established or till now not selected, would join the current 112 selected LAGs and so that approx. 150 LAGs would function this way.
Regarding the arguable advantages of LEADER method, we propose that development programmes, by which the European community resources will be administered in the period 2014 2020, would use principles based on LEADER method in much greater extent.
Concretely, we propose that 50% of programme, corresponding to current Rural development programme, would be implemented by this method, in thematic areas corresponding to current Axis III and IV. Furthermore, we propose, that all other operational programmes, which fulfil their targets in rural areas and can have rural beneficiaries (small villages, rural schools, micro, small and medium entrepreneurs, NGOs etc.), would contain a special axis, implemented by LEADER method with 10-25% of resources devoted to it, as it corresponds to desired share of integrated and innovative projects implemented by coordinated efforts of the community in rural territory. Provided this system covered an area of municipalities up to 10 thousand inhabitants, 47% of Czech citizens would be included.
The total volume of resources, reserved for rural support in the Czech Republic in the period 2014 2020, should reach at least 4.2 billion EUR (from the total approx. 24 billion EUR), summing the special rural programmesand rural axes from other programmes. This require-ment corresponds to a sum of 1.400 EUR for every citizen out of 3.15 million rural citizens.
Average allocation for 1 medium-size LAG would reach 28 million EUR / 7 years, i.e. 4 million EUR per year. With this support, rural areas are capable to retrieve and generate their own resources, multiply the invested finances, namely thanks to the use of partnership cooperation animated and supported by LAGs.