In the period 2 – 4 April 2019, Chisinau has hosted the first International Conference in the Republic of Moldova, aimed to promote and celebrate the results gained while implementing the LEADER* approach in our country, which has as scope the development and revitalization of rural areas.
The EU – Moldova LEADER Conference has reunited representatives from different institutions and organizations, interested in sharing the LEADER experience in Moldova and EU members states, such as the European Commission, central authorities of Moldova, European LEADER networks, representatives of the Moldovan and European Local Action Groups (LAGs).
The event covered group discussions and workshops, a presentation on the assessment study regarding the implementation efficiency of pilot-projects on local development through the LEADER approach, and also signing several important cooperation agreements. There have to be mentioned, among others, the financial agreements signed between 18 Moldovan LAGs and Solidarity Fund PL in Moldova for implementing LEADER pilot-projects in 2019 and the celebration of new 8 LAGs creation; a partnership agreement concluded between EU LAGs and 3 Moldovan LAGs in order to implement the Transnational Cooperation Project “Say cheese! Balkan cheese!” and a partnership agreement between the National LEADER Network of Moldova and the LAGs Federation from Romania. Additionally, there was submitted the request from the National LEADER Network of Moldova to join the European LEADER Association for Rural Development (ELARD). The peak moment of the event was the approval of the common declaration of Moldovan LAGs for consolidation and implementation of the LEADER approach in the Republic of Moldova.
The Conference also hosted an open-air LEADER Fair, where local products from LAG members were presented and sold. These people have been building and developing small local or family businesses thanks to the European financial support, gained through LEADER. Thus, the Fair’s visitors could buy honey, artisanal objects or dry fruits, produced within various LAGs, but also to find out more on how to open a rabbit farm, a kayak-canoe club or a sports club in a village where nobody was thinking about fitness. The Fair was a multicultural happening, as through it people could see the distinctive features of the LAGs across the country.
The third day of the event was full of field visits to Moldova LAGs, so the participants from other countries could discover the beauty of the rural areas, as well as to find out about results of the LEADER activities in Moldova (success stories of the LEADER pilot-projects).
Contact person: Cristina Gonta, firstname.lastname@example.org.
(*) LEADER approach (from the French acronym – Liaison entre actions de développement de l’économie rurale – meaning Links between actions for the development of the rural economy) is an EU method to support locally-driven rural development interventions through inclusive partnerships that recognise local resources and potential. Those partnerships are so called Local Action Group (LAGs) formed by local partners representatives of public, civic and business sector. Currently in Moldova exists approx. 30 LAGs/LADER-like initiatives. In 2016-2018 the EU supported creation of 8 pilot LAGs in Gagauzia and Taraclia within EU-SARD Programme. National LEADER Network was established in December 2018 by Moldovan LAGs and organisations that promote LEADER approach in Moldova.