This first FARNET Work Plan presents the priorities and main activities of the network for the first six months of operation of the FARNET Support Unit (FSU) (1/07/2015 - 31/12/2015).
Key contextual elements for 2015 include:
Many Member States (MSs) will be developing their national procedures and legislation for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), including Community-Led Local Development (CLLD). In doing so, it is important that they take account of the lessons of the last period and look at the possibilities offered by increased coordination between funds.
During this transition period, there will be a mixture of FLAGs from the previous period FLAGs that have ceased their activities and new, inexperienced FLAGs.
Expenditure on all projects funded in the previous period must be finalized by the 31 December 2015. Some existing FLAGs and MSs are under pressure to achieve this.
Some of the more advanced countries will already be selecting FLAGs. These FLAGs will be thinking about how they adapt their partnerships and prepare their strategies to deal with the new challenges presented in the context of CLLD.
The FARNET strategy
Overview of priorities:
A needs analysis will be undertaken, to ensure that the activities of the Support Unit target the areas of greatest need and opportunity. It will as well provide a basis for developing the FARNET work plan for 2016.
Priorities linked to the transition period will also be dealt with. In some countries this will involve working with managing authorities (MAs) and intermediate bodies (IBs) to remove blockages and speed up payments before the 31 December 2015 deadline. In other countries, the focus will be on putting in place the systems that will be used for the next seven years. In this respect, specific attention will be devoted to the opportunities linked to the coordination of the different European structural and investment (ESI) funds.
Priorities for 2015:
1. To set up the FSU and ensure a smooth transition to the new period, consolidating knowledge already acquired.
2. To develop and implement a thorough needs analysis, to inform the network activities over the next seven years.
3. To support all the stakeholders involved in creating efficient and streamlined delivery systems, which allow fisheries communities to benefit from the new possibilities offered by the coordination of the different structural and investment funds.
These priorities will inform the organisation of the work of the Support Unit for its first six months. The following sections describe the activities to be undertaken in order to meet these priorities and contribute to the four main aims of the network as spelled out by the EMFF Regulation: capacity building, facilitating the exchange of experience and good practices, supporting cooperation, and disseminating information.
Priorities and key activities for capacity building:
Much of the knowledge and information developed over the last six years is still relevant for the 2014-2020 period, and it will be important to ensure that new groups have easy access to this resource. However, the challenge for the coming period is to build on the lessons of the past at both national and local level, and support FLAGs to exploit the full potential of CLLD in fisheries and coastal areas. In 2015, capacity building activities will focus on:
- Supporting MAs and beneficiaries in speeding up payments from the 2007-2013 period. FSU intervention will be on a demand basis and will be based on specific support itineraries.
- Ensuring that the experience and lessons of the previous period are transferred to the people and the systems deployed in the current period. This will take place at all levels: support to the European Commission's desk, to the MAs in relation to their OPs and national procedures and legislation, and to the FLAG partnerships and teams in relation to their local development strategies.
- Improving the capacities of the different MAs wishing to use the possibilities offered by multi-fund CLLD. The key activity in this respect will be the organisation of a transnational seminar specifically aimed at these MAs, including MA’s for other ESI Funds.
Priorities and key activities to support cooperation:
Only a limited number of FLAGs will be operational in 2015. Therefore, the priority this year will be to develop an overall strategy to foster cooperation under the EMFF in the 2014-2020 period. This strategy will address the needs of both MAs and FLAGs and will include cooperation and exchange with the ENRD and with the Support Units for other cooperation programmes such as Interact or the transnational projects of the ESF.
The strategy will also address the design of systems and procedures at national and regional level to enhance the potential for generating good cooperation projects in the future.
Priorities and key activities for exchanging experiences and good practices:
The priority here will be to agree the templates, criteria and procedures for collecting CLLD examples, and to increase the motivation of stakeholders to share information. The first case studies to be published will include examples of successful projects from the 2007-2013 period, as well as methodological good practices for the effective delivery of the programme.
The first brochure of seminar proceedings will also be developed in 2015. In line with the theme of the transnational seminar, this will aim to foster the exchange of good practices related to setting up delivery systems and programmes in support of multi fund CLLD.
Priorities and key activities for disseminating information:
The priority for dissemination in 2015 will be to develop an integrated communication strategy involving all FARNET web and paper based tools and activities. This will ensure that the right information is directed to the right target audiences in the right form and at the right time.
The first edition of the FARNET Magazine will present the network, its goals and priorities, and the tools and resources at its disposal. It will also introduce the people behind the network and describe how the network will assist in the transition from the EFF to the EMFF. Templates for all publications will be developed during this AWP, up to five electronic flash reports will be published, and around five articles on CLLD will be produced for external publications.