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Transnational seminars

Social inclusion for vibrant fishing communities: Jūrmala, Latvia 21-23 March 2017

At the initiative of the European Commission, and with the support of the Latvian Ministry of Agriculture and the Laukiem and Jūrai FLAG, FARNET's fourth transnational seminar of the 2014-2020 programming period will take place on 21-23 March 2017 in Jūrmala, Latvia.

The theme of the event is Social inclusion for vibrant fishing communities and is designed to help FLAGs:
• Promote and integrate social inclusion in their local development strategies, in particular providing better support to women and the local youth and a special focus on the unemployed;
• Share experiences on how FLAGs can cooperate with relevant stakeholder organisations active in the social integration of marginalised groups in their areas, including migrants and refugees;
• Better engage with the local fisheries sector to address the socio-economic impact of the CFP reform and other challenges for the small-scale fisheries sector, with regards to its ageing population and training needs.

The seminar will provide a framework for discussions and practical exercises based on successful cases from the EFF/EMFF, additional EU funding instruments, as well as further initiatives aimed at social inclusion. These themes will therefore be addressed through a series of presentations on good practices, working group discussions and a field visit.

"Boosting business along the fisheries supply chain": Thessaloniki, Greece 18-20 October 2016

At the initiative of the European Commission, and with the support of the Hellenic Ministry of Rural Development & Food and the Thessaloniki FLAG, FARNET's third transnational seminar of the 2014-2020 programming period took place on 18-20 October 2016. The theme of the event, “Boosting business along the fisheries supply chain”, was designed to equip Fisheries Local Action Groups with the tools to help local stakeholders tap into opportunities along the fisheries supply chain. In particular, the mix of plenary sessions and working groups focused on trends and opening up new markets for local fisheries and aquaculture products; linking the private sector with science and research; ensuring direct support is available to local businesses in FLAG areas; and better engaging aquaculture producers and fishermen (especially small scale and coastal) to work in new ways to boost business opportunities. The seminar was followed by a study visit to projects in the Thessaloniki FLAG area. 

"Results-oriented CLLD in fisheries areas": Helsinki, Finland 24-26 May 2016

The second FARNET transnational seminar “Results-oriented CLLD in fisheries areas” took place in Helsinki, from the 24th - 26th May 2016 and was designed to:

> help FLAGs develop better strategies, using SMART indicators and targets, to deliver results;

> help both FLAGs and MAs to develop monitoring systems and to steer the delivery of fisheries CLLD;

> open a discussion on the broader impacts of CLLD

"Implementing CLLD across the ESI Funds": Edinburgh, UK - 8-10 December 2015.

This first FARNET transnational seminar of the new programming period took place in Edinburgh, Scotland, from the 8th to 10th December 2015. It provided new opportunities for Managing Authorities (MAs) of the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds to learn, inspire and get inspired in implementing the CLLD approach, foster better cooperation and ensure the most efficient use of the funding available. 

The possibility of supporting CLLD has now been extended to all the ESI Funds. Uptake under the EAFRD and the EMFF is quite significant already, while the ERDF and ESF are now also adopting this approach and this is expected to provide an important boost to the impact of EU funding at local level. CLLD has an important role to play in addressing many of the challenges currently facing Europe, and projects and initiatives developed in this context could benefit from appropriate interventions from more than one fund. This seminar had as key aim to assist MAs in launching their CLLD programmes while strengthening cooperation between ESI Funds at EU level, and between MAs at national and regional level, with a view to encouraging a better integration of the funds locally.

You will find below a selection of outputs and guidelines produced during this two days event. Come back regularly as this page will be updated as new material is published.

Southwest FLAG Lab: learning lessons on successful FLAG practice

French, Spanish and Portuguese FLAGs met in Barcelona the 22-23 September to look back at the results and challenges of the 2007-2013 funding period. This seminar was organised with the support of the French, Spanish and Portuguese administrations and involved a series of presentations and working group discussions. Topics addressed included various areas of FLAG work and, in particular, their experience of mobilising their local communities, supporting project development, selecting the most effective projects and communication activities. Exchanges also took place around the kinds of activities that FLAGs could undertake to monitor, evaluate and improve their work.  Finally, four working groups each developed proposals for the sorts of skills, experience and resources FLAG teams should aim to secure in order to be effective in the future.  The seminar was followed on the 24th September by a project visit to the Delta del Ebro FLAG.




FARNET.lab "Linking fisheries to the tourism economy": Sardinia, Italy - 22-24 October 2013

This seminar was FARNET’s second lab-style event in which participants worked on a very specific theme, in this case - how to link fisheries to the tourism economy. Organised at the initiative of DG Mare and with the support of the Autonomous Region of Sardinia and the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, this transnational seminar took place in Sardinia from the 22-24 October 2013.  It brought together over 80 FLAGs from 20 different EU countries, along with members of national and regional authorities responsible for implementing Axis 4, in order to work through the process of supporting fisheries-related tourism. Dedicated working groups guided participants through three key themes: matching fisheries areas’ assets and markets; developing fisheries-related tourism products; and promoting and marketing fisheries related tourism packages. A combination of presentations and working guidance from experts from the tourism industry offered FLAGs the basic building blocks to tackle these themes as well as a chance to work through practical examples. Further presentations, a visit to see an Italian pesca-tourism boat and “itti-tourism” restaurant, and the exhibition of around 70 FLAG projects also gave participants an overview of different types of tourism projects that are helping fishing communities to tap into the potential that that tourism economy can offer.  

FARNET.lab "Marketing the Local Catch": Stockholm, Sweden - 3-5 June 2013

The 8th FARNET seminar took place from 3-5 of June 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden, introducing the FARNET.lab format to explore with FLAGs different possibilities for “Marketing the Local Catch”. Hosted by DG MARE of the European Commission, the Stockholm FLAG and Stockholm County Board, and supported by the Swedish Ministry of Rural Affairs, the seminar brought together more than 80 FLAGs coming from 20 different countries to explore how various marketing initiatives could be developed and promoted through Axis 4 of the EFF.

Through five lab themes, including “direct sales”, “digital marketplaces”, “short chains and Community Supported Fishery”, “branding and labelling”, and tapping into the "experience" aspects of local seafood products, participants analysed the pros and cons of projects and ideas, received feedback and advice from other FLAGs and experts from different, and sometimes distant, shores.


Participants of each lab produced a “Toolbox”, which will feed into further FARNET work, notably a follow up publication dedicated to the theme of “Marketing the Local Catch”. FARNET would like to thank all the participants, DG MARE and the Swedish partners for their involvement in making this 8th FARNET event a success.

The seminar report, presentations and participants list will be progressively available below and through our various communication platforms.

"Positioning FLAGs for the Future: Fisheries Communities at the Heart of Local Development": Quiberon, France - 13-15th November 2012

Organised at the initiative of DG Mare of the European Commission and with the support of the French Directorate for Sea Fisheries and Aquaculture, this seminar attracted aproximately 150 Axis 4 stakeholders from around Europe and, in particular, board members of the Fisheries Local Action Groups. As FLAGs continue to gain experience in fostering local development in their areas, this transnational seminar offered an opportunity to take stock of some of the emerging results and lessons from Axis 4 and aimed to help them position themselves to respond to the challenges and opportunities of the future. Given the increased prominence of Community-Led Local Development in the new EMFF and other EU funding programmes, this seminar was designed to help FLAGs get the best results out of the current period and help them prepare for the future.

Work on a series of case studies and project visits engaged participants in an analysis of what Axis 4 can offer to fisheries communities and the roles which FLAGs can and should be playing in working with others to address the challenges and opportunities facing their territories.

"FLAGs: Drivers of Green Growth in European Fisheries Areas”: Olhão, Portugal - 4-6th June 2012

Cooperation, creativity and a long-term commitment to sustainability are some of the main ingredients necessary for fisheries areas to be successful in safeguarding their environmental assets, while also benefitting from opportunities in the green economy. This was one of the main conclusions of the FARNET conference, "FLAGs: Drivers of Green growth in European Fisheries Areas”, which took place in Olhão, Portugal from the 4-6 June 2012.

This event brought together around 150 participants who witnessed first-hand the interactions between local operators and the Ria Formosa, a unique ecosystem of rias and mudpans established as a national park since the 1970’s. Through a combination of working groups and case studies, participants were introduced to different ways in which FLAGs can become drivers of Green growth in EU fisheries areas.  

"FLAGs in business: promoting diversification in fisheries areas": Gdynia, Poland - 5 - 7th July 2011

Organised at the initiative of the European Commission and with the support of the Polish Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, this event (FARNET´s 5th transnational seminar) was designed to provide ideas and support to those FLAGs looking at ways to diversify their local economies by fostering new types of activities for fishermen and their communities. 

The event attracted over 160 participants and included a series of thematic workshops and plenary sessions on possible diversification activities and key considerations for FLAGs implementing diversification strategies. Workshops offered project examples from different sectors: tourism, environmental services, and social & cultural activities, as well as the very specific theme of pesca-tourism. Cooperation among FLAGs was also built in to the agenda with a view to promoting information exchange and opportunities for cooperation around concrete projects.