LEADER in Focus at the 3rd National Networks Meeting in Denmark

Apr 16, 2024 | LEADER

CAP Network Ireland was in attendance at the 3rd meeting of National Networks, which took place from the 20th-21st of March in Jyderup, Denmark. The meeting, organised by the EU CAP Network jointly with the Danish National Network, facilitated wide-ranging exchanges between representatives from 26 member states. In a packed agenda, a particular emphasis of the meeting was on building the capacity of National Networks to support LEADER.

Presentations from the Danish and Austrian networks commenced proceedings and provided valuable insight into how the LEADER programme is supported in these countries. Participants then had the opportunity to contribute to three interactive sessions, which focused on (i) National Network activities on LEADER and agriculture, (ii) National Networks and Youth Involvement in LEADER, and (iii) Facilitating LEADER Transnational Cooperation.

A session dedicated to National Network involvement in evaluating the added value of the LEADER approach followed. A sample of the contributions given on the day are listed below.

(i) National Network activities on LEADER and agriculture

  • There is a role for National Networks in linking actors involved in EIP-AGRI and LEADER projects (to encourage knowledge exchange and foster innovation).
  • Participating in cross visits to farms was highlighted as a means of showcasing what can be achieved with LEADER support.

(ii) National Networks and Youth Involvement in LEADER

  • Young social media influencers can be effective in sharing LEADER success stories.
  • A ‘Young LEADER Forum’ will take place in Finland in June which will be the first opportunity for the EU CAP Network to bring together motivated young people from rural areas and people connected with LEADER at local level.

(iii) Facilitating LEADER Transnational Cooperation

  • There is a role for National Networks in helping to facilitate exchanges between Managing Authorities (Departments of Agriculture) in different member states.
  • The dissemination of good practice examples of transnational cooperation, particularly highlighting the first-hand experiences of being involved in such a project, is seen as being important.

Keep an eye out for the full event highlights report which will soon be added to the EU CAP Network website.

On day two of the meeting, participants visited a number of LEADER funded projects in the surrounding areas. Projects included:

  • A small farmhouse with outbuildings that have been converted into accommodation facilities, aimed at cycling, walking and horse-riding tourists.
  • The restoration of a forge which has been brought back to its original 1900’s appearance and has since opened as a working blacksmith museum.
  • A previously empty train station building that has been re-purposed and now serves as an innovative co-working space hosting entrepreneurs and small businesses.

The full agenda, as well as a range of presentations, images and other event documents can be accessed here.

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