The overall objective of the project was to assist the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management (MAFWM) and relevant local stakeholders in the introduction of the LEADER approach to rural development in Serbia.  
The ‘LEADER’ approach was designed to harness the energy and resources of rural citizens who could contribute to the development process in their area by forming partnerships at local level between the public, private and civil sectors. Practically LEADER devolves both the development strategy design and funding powers to the local level, making it a highly effective decentralisation tool. The basic administrative unit for the implementation of LEADER is a non-profit Local Action Group (LAG) open to all actors of its territory. 
This project is supporting the following main activities: 
Institutional support and capacity building of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management (and other related institutions) in the development of a LEADER programme for Serbia:

  • Establishment and support of a National LEADER Development Group (NLDG) which will develop the policy, programme, legal, financial, administrative and technical framework for the implementation of LEADER in Serbia;  
  • Development and delivery of an integrated capacity building programme for relevant MAFWM staff related to LEADER legislation, policy and best practice management; 
  • Strategic support to the development of the LEADER initiative as part of the wider national agriculture and rural development programme. 

Awareness raising and capacity building of targeted agriculture and rural local communities 

  • Design and delivery of a communications campaign for targeted rural communities to raise awareness of LEADER and of rural development and the opportunities for support and involvement in the planning and development process;
  • Design and delivery of an integrated capacity building programme for targeted local actors and organisations in the introduction of LEADER, development of local groups and articulation of local development strategies;

Support and capacity building of potential Local Action Groups (LAGs) 

  • Assistance to local organisations in the formation of potential Local Action Groups (LAGs) 
  • Support to newly formed Local Action Groups (LAGs) in the preparation of local development strategies, applications and detailed budgets required to apply for funding from LEADER (or similar funding sources).
  • Support to Local Strategic plan implmentation (subject to available funds being secured through donor, government and/or private sources)

EU Delegation to the Republic of Serbia

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