Official title of the project

Capacity Building for the Establishment and Implementation of a LEADER Initiative in the Republic of Serbia


Project information

Region / City
Total budget of programme / project


Implementation period
2011. Feb - 2013. Feb
Expected results

Creation of 30 LAGS, throughout recognition of 25 Local Action Groups

Programme/Project objectives

To provide support to the Government of the Republic of Serbia to achieve the goals of accession to the EU by adapting and approximating Serbian agriculture and rural development sectors with EU acquis communautaires.

Capacity Building for the Establishment and Implementation of a LEADER Initiative in the Republic of Serbia

More details on project

The documentary framework is in place and the guidance documents available. But currently this framework is just theoretical. The project was not able to develop a critical mass of government-trained personnel with core competencies in the implementation of LEADER-type initiatives. The national policy framework has not yet recognised LEADER as an approach for development and implementation of rural development in communities in Serbia and without this recognition and commitment it is unlikely that LEADER can develop within the country. Today key institutions lack the knowledge, experience and understanding to make LEADER a success in Serbia. This capacity gap must be filled if the quiet revolution is to blossom and expand to all areas of the country

Bridging the gap between the top and the bottom (As part of the wider EU accession process, implementing the EU Rural Development Regulation will be an enormous task for Serbia. For this to be achievable over the next five years preparation should start as soon as possible. And this preparation should take account of developments in the policy. The LEADER approach to Community Led Local Development (CLLD) has been recognized as a critical part of this new policy framework for the next programming period (2014-2020). The approach outlined is intended to embrace all the Funds covered by the EU Common Strategic Framework (namely the European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund, European Agricultural Fund for Regional Development, European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and Cohesion Fund), now referred to as the „Common Strategic Framework‟ Funds. This new development means that Local Action Groups (LAGs), developed by local communities and working on behalf of their communities, could potentially become one of the most important instruments in the delivery of local rural and regional development programmes in the next programming period, for both EU member states and candidate countries. Effectively developed and supported, such groups can attract significant EU support through grant funds, investment capital and technical support, providing a critical boost to local economies throughout the country. If Serbia continues to develop this capacity at national, regional and local level it has the potential to receive significant and essential financial support for its rural communities in the years ahead. The chance is real, the opportunities and benefits unquestionable. Now all that is needed is the political will and support to make it real, building upon the foundations developed by this project..