Implementation of the EU LEADER programme at member-state level: Written and unwritten rules of local project selection in rural Poland
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CitationMarek Furmankiewicz, Krzysztof Janc, Áine Macken-Walsh, Implementation of the EU LEADER programme at member-state level: Written and unwritten rules of local project selection in rural Poland, Journal of Rural Studies, Volume 86, 2021, Pages 357-365, ISSN 0743-0167, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2021.05.020.
AbstractLocal Action Groups (LAGs) are multi-sectoral, area-based partnerships operating throughout the European Union to support participatory local development in rural areas. One of the operational elements of the programme is that multi-sectoral partnerships at the local level select and fund local development projects. The aim of this paper is to explore the dynamics of the selection process at the local level, paying attention to both exogenous and endogenous dynamics that originate at both the EU, national and local levels and how these influence the selection and funding of local development projects. We present the results of qualitative case studies conducted of 15 LAGs in rural Poland. Results indicate that centrally prescribed scoring criteria for the selection of projects issued are used, but, in many cases, local unwritten rules favouring territorial distribution of funds according to number of inhabitants and perceived fairness are highly influential on the selection process. We highlight in this context how local criteria shape top-down rules for the operationalisation of LEADER at the local level, illustrating features of mixed exogenous-endogenous development. We discuss how the interplay of local and external decision-making factors ultimately determine the activities of EU-funded development programmes, highlighting benefits of local decision-making in rural development but also signalling that EU procedures are realised to variable extents.
FunderPolish National Science Centre
Grant Number2019/33/B/HS4/00176 (OPUS 17)
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