Original publication: October 2015
Author: Filipa Azevedo, Research Administrator
Short link to this post: http://bit.ly/2sEUTd2

1. Introduction

For the 2014-2020 programming period the regulations encourage the usage of integrated and place-based oriented approaches to foster economic, social and territorial cohesion, at the same time putting a greater weight on urban development actions in order to attain the Europe 2020 Strategy goals. These territorial approaches can be implemented by using tools such as the Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI) and the Community-Led Local Development (CLLD). The Partnership Agreements, between the Member States and the European Commission, should indicate how ITI and CLLD will be used by Member States and the types of areas and challenges that these mechanisms will address.

 

The EP Committee on Regional Development (REGI) requested the Policy Department for Structural and Cohesion Policies for this briefing in support of the own-initiative report “New territorial development tools in Cohesion Policy 2014-2020: Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI) and Community-Led Local Development”  (Rapporteur: Ruža Tomašić).

2. The Role of the European Parliament

The European Parliament (EP) supports local and integrated development through CLLD and ITI, including a reinforced urban dimension of cohesion policy. CLLD has been perceived by the EP as an important element of the Common Provisions Regulation (CPR) (EU) No 1303/2013 with a focus on developing synergies between funds and as “an excellent way of encouraging bottom-up participation from a cross-section of local community actors working towards sustainable territorial objectives”.

During the negotiations of the new regulations, the EP put a strong emphasis on the role played by local action groups in designing and implementing community-led local development strategies, adding an “explicit reference to ‘fostering project management capabilities’ of local actors”. The Parliament contributed to the provisions of Article 35.1(a) by adding a provision that costs of preparatory support to local strategies can be covered by the ESI Funds (e.g. administrative costs, training, studies). Regarding ITI, the EP considered ITI as an opportunity for cities to meet their own specific needs and together with the Council, brought the possibility of complementing ITI with funding from EAFRD and EMFF.

3. Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI)

ITI is a new and optional delivery tool introduced by the CPR (Art. 36) and allowing the implementation of territorial development strategies through investments from the European Social Fund (ESF), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) or the Cohesion Fund. The funding should be combined from at least two priority axes of one or more operational programmes (OPs).

An ITI can have a complementary financial support from the European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) or the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and can be used to deliver Art. 7 of the ERDF Regulation (EU) 1301/2013 which states that “at least 5% of the ERDF resources allocated at national level under the Investment for growth and jobs goal shall be allocated to integrated actions for sustainable urban development”.

ITIs concern sub-national level areas like regions, sub-regions, cities, rural municipalities and neighbourhoods which have a common territorial element and there are many possible implementation arrangements (See Figure 1). Member States’ managing authorities have the final responsibility for managing and implementing an ITI but tasks can be delegated to intermediate bodies (e.g. local authorities, NGOs).

Figure 1: ITI - possible implementation arrangement

By using ITIs, Member States choose to address territorial challenges in a coordinated way, going beyond single actions of an Operational Programme and funding strategic activities of a given area. Although the ITI concept is flexible, its implementation seems to be rather challenging (see Section 6).

4. Community-Led Local Development (CLLD)

Community-Led Local Development (CLLD) is a bottom-up approach, where local communities create and implement local integrated strategies. CLLD has been used by Community Initiatives such as URBAN (funded by the ERDF), LEADER (funded by the EAFRD), EQUAL (funded by the ESF) and for supporting Fisheries Local Action Groups (funded by the EMFF).

The CPR (Art. 32, 33 and 34) encourages the usage of CLLD in subregional level areas (with not less than 10 000 and not more than 150 000 inhabitants). It foresees that local action groups (LAGs) prepare and carry out integrated and multi-sectoral local development strategies (i.e. serving local purposes and responding to local needs). CLLD strategies shall include innovative features (new products, processes, organisations and markets) and networking with other areas. They must include, among other elements, a definition of the area and population concerned; an analysis of the development needs and potential of the area (including a SWOT analysis: strengths, weaknesses opportunities and threats); an action plan; and a description of the management and monitoring arrangements of the strategy.

Local development strategies can be implemented by using one Fund (easiest solution from a management point of view but excludes broader strategies and limits the synergies between funds) or by combining several funds (which can be better in order to address more issues and sectors). CLLD is compulsory for the EAFRD (designated as LEADER local development) and optional for EMFF, ERDF and ESF.

Table 1: Advantages of using ITI and CLLD

Link to the full study: http://bit.ly/563-391

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