October has passed almost with no rain. One of the driest October months ever to be recorded according to the statistics. Still there are lots of colored leaves in the trees, but a day or two of strong winds will blow them all away. Some days we have still 10 degrees Celsius, just as we had in July. It’s unusual weather indeed.
The measure for Operational Groups is open for application since the end of August. The assessment of the applications will start in January. The application procedure is open all year round and decisions about support for setting up Operational Groups will be made once a month. The decisions about innovation projects will be taken at three occasions during 2016. An advisory selection committee has been established attached to the managing authority. It will assess the project applications based on the decided selection criteria.
Mrs Inger Pehrson at the NSU together with colleagues in the Innovation Support Group for Operational Groups promoted the EIP-agri measure at the big national agricultural fair, ELMIA, in October. The resources for innovation support through the RDP was represented by a big load (SEK 440 million) of special banknotes with the picture of the minister of agriculture in Sweden.
The most urgent activity right now is the campaign “Food is life” (Mat är livet) with inspiration from Jamie Olivers´ campaign “Food for life” in UK targeting public kitchens and first of all schools but also hospitals and homes for elderly care. The activities in Sweden will start with a workshop on November 17 for which 60 participants already have signed up.
In the beginning of the month we had our national Leader conference in Haparanda as we wrote in the last monthly review. The about 150 participants had both plenary sessions and two different optional workshops with all the themes of our thematic working groups. There was also a presentation of the preliminary results of the 2007-2014 RDP Evaluation regarding Leader. One session was also about transnational cooperation where the Finnish NSU representative Mr Juha Matti Markkola gave a presentation of the Finnish TNC success. The ENRD geographical expert for Finland Mr Petri Rinne participated as well as some 15 other Finnish Leader representatives. It was a good time to promote cooperation. There was also a panel discussion between Swedish and Finnish participants about integration of refugees in rural areas. The session was filmed and can be seen here.
The 27th of October the Coordination group had its´ autumn meeting. Along with discussion about the final approval of the LAG strategies, rules for simplified costs etc. the group discussed a suggestion for a new structure of the group and somewhat changed tasks. The LAG selection is in its final stage and the selected LAGs have sent in complementary information regarding LAG constitution, selection criteria, evaluation etc. During the year the National Leader Association (Lokal Utveckling Sverige, LUS) has been founded and it had its´ yearly meeting in October. Since LUS now will be able to be the dialogue partner with the MA and PA regarding many technical issues, these questions will be removed from the coordination group. The main focus of the group will be the organization of regional and national Leader meetings, coordination and knowledge transfer between the CLLD funds, spreading the Leader method and promoting TNC.
The web based questionnaire about projects and activities in rural areas to promote the inclusion of asylum seekers in rural areas, sent to the network member organizations, has now started resulting in answers. Over 80 answers have come in so far with lots of inspiring examples of how rural areas can contribute to inclusion of asylum seekers. The questionnaire is still ongoing so more god practice examples are to come. Here are the results so far (in Swedish).
The working group for Youth in rural areas organized a workshop in the national Leader meeting where the participants shared good ideas about how to include young people in LAGs, in projects, in selection committees etc. Through a very structured workshop method using peer-to-peer interviews with predefined questions and report to the whole group all were pushed to think outside the box and to share experiences.
The group has launched an information campaign targeting Leader groups and rural development officers in municipalities and regions to inform and inspire actors to use the RDP for new and innovative service solutions in rural areas.
In the end of November, the 25th, the yearly national network gathering will take place in Stockholm. 150 – 200 participants from a wide range of stakeholders will attend. Deputy secretary of state will participate and answer questions sent in advance. There will be a plenary session about how the RDP can deliver to the climate goals and of course thematic workshops related to the thematic working groups. The day will also be the official launching of the Swedish Maritime and Fisheries Program. Mr Sören Kissmeyer and Ms Agneta Sturesson from The European Commission DG Agri will also participate at the network meeting.
The day before we will arrange a joint workshop for all the thematic working groups to promote cooperation and joint learning, since many of the themes are cross cutting. The EIP-network, which is a natural part of the big NRN, will be represented by the innovation support group. It will also be a special workshop for the FLAGs (they are 4) together with the LAGs also working with the EMFF (they are 9). Mr Serge Gomes da Silva from FARNET will participate in that.