ODRAZ Director participated in the 14th ELARD Assembly

Lidija Pavić-Rogošić participated on behalf of Croatian Rural Development Network in 14th ELARD Assembly, held on 21st of February 2017 in Bruxelles. The Assembly was opened by the president Kristina Tammets, who greeted ca. 20 present participants.

At the beginning the report on activities was introduced. Activities consisted mostly of participation in seminars, workshops and meetings (for example, CLLD seminar in Sweden, seminar about social inclusion, debate on little cities as catalysts of rural development in European Social and Economic Committee (EESC), group on Civil dialogue at which it was discussed about the future of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), position of the LEADER approach etc.) Activity of the Committee of the Regions was mentioned, which advocated for the creation of the White paper on rurality from a local and regional perspective for European rural agenda after 2020, document which would advocate for the LEADER approach. Brochure with presented reasons for the need of such document is available on the following link: http://cor.europa.eu/en/news/Documents/brochure-white-paper-final.pdf. During the debate it was concluded that the deregulation of CAP, and its simplification, is needed.

The Tartu Declaration was discussed. The Tartu Declaration was originally prepared during the ELARD conference about the reinstatement of the LEADER/CLLD approach after 2020. in the November of 2016 in Tartu, Estonia. Overview of the dissemination of the declaration at the European level , but also in particular countries, was given. Representative of Croatian Rurual Development Network informed that the declaration on English language was published on the websites of the Network, that the translation is being planned and that the declaration was also published by some LAGs on their websites.

Action plan of ELARD with the budget proposal for 2017 was also presented, with the special emphasis on participation in organization of the 3rd European Rural Parliament.

Changes of the ELARD Statute were presented and immediately adopted. For example, it was added that the organization also promotes CLLD, next to LEADER; honorary membership was introduced, next to the regular one and the position of the observer position was eliminated; the role of the Assembly was defined in more details as well as quorum and the number of the members of the Council. Important for us is the new provision about each country having right to only one vote, regardless of the number of regular members from that country.

After that, three possible models of the membership fee were presented. Next proposition was also passed: basic annual sum - 500 euros + the sum dependent on the number of LAGs + the sum dependent on the sum intended for the financing of the LEADER/CLLD. For Croatia the sum in all of three models is the same - 1500 euros. As some countries, including Croatia, have more than one member in ELARD, annual fee can be divided.

After the end of the Assembly, informal get together continued during the dinner.

Prepared by: Lidija Pavić-Rogošić, ODRAZ/Croatian Rural Development Network