• 3rd Catalys LEADER & Local Development Summer School – Zadar Croatia
    3rd Catalys LEADER & Local Development Summer School – Zadar Croatia
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    The Catalys LEADER and Local Development Summer School will now take place at a date later in the year.  The course has proved popular with partners and we now have two new partners:

    European Education Forum – will support the programme through the Europe for Citizens Programme, which encourages citizens’ participation in the European Union, by developing understanding of the Union and promoting intercultural engagement at the Union level.

    EDIC (Zadar) – is the European Information Centre in Zadar which provides information about the European Union, its policies and opportunities and promotes civic engagement.

    We are delighted to inform colleagues that the partnership supporting the summer school has grown to include two new partners.  However, the process of bringing new partners into the course and reflecting their ideas will take a little time.  This means that we cannot run the summer school at the planned time in September and will now look for a mutually acceptable time later in the year.  We will be in touch with all those who have made bookings and participants will be offered places at the later course.

    The summer school is also supported by the LEADER Network of Croatia (LMH), Ministry of Agriculture and the Rural Business School (UK).



    This year the summer school will embrace the Community Led Local Development (CLLD) theme alongside LEADER with the principles having moved from theory to practice for the first time.  We will look at early practice and we will have case studies, films and plenty of discussion, as well as good dalmatian cuisine.

    The 2015 Summer School theme is ENERGY; both how to harness the energy of communities and how communities can provide for their own energy needs.  Rural Communities have many of the solutions to the challenges they face, the only thing they lack is an impetus to develop and a structure to do it within.  The EU’s LEADER and CLLD programmes offer both of these things, however the job of stimulating a community’s energies is subtle and skilled – it is called ANIMATION.  For this reason LEADER and CLLD employ ANIMATEURS, not to be the source of all wisdom, but to stimulate and animate sustainable development.

    The summer school will look at these skills and look at best practice examples of them being applied.

    What can you expect – The Summer School is open and informative, the programme includes discussions, video clips, case studies, practical examples and plenty of opportunity for informal engagement with colleagues and experts.  In addition to the formal programme, participants will also be provided with links, information sources and learning materials.  The summer school will be delivered in English and Croatian and will be facilitated by Ivana Laginja and Ian Baker.

    The sign up form is here.

    The Programme is here

    Who is it for:   Public, private and NGO sectors involved in rural and local development and in particular those engaged with the LEADER programme from Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and neighbouring countries.

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  • Catalys Summer School – 2014 evaluation – The results are in!
    Catalys Summer School – 2014 evaluation – The results are in!
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    The results are in!  The 2014 Summer School had Excellent approval ratings of 80 – 90%!

    The independent evaluation of the 2014 summer school was undertaken through Survey Monkey and is now complete.

    Participants were asked a series of questions via online survey and responses were collected that represented over 60% of the participants.

    In overview, most people strongly agreed or agreed attendance was both positive and useful and that they took much useful information back to their workplaces.

    Participants also felt there were some areas where they wanted more information and they wanted more discussion time.  Several ideas were given for extra topics, including, rural tourism, green policies and practice, local development funding and more detail on policy and implementation for 2014-20.

    The strongest rating however was given in answer to the question whether another course would be welcomed, with 89% strongly agreeing or agreeing with this suggestion.

    Location was also discussed and 88% of respondents wanted to see the next course to take place on the mainland.

    The 2015 Summer School will therefore be organised in response to these findings and is due to take place in Zadar in on 2nd 3rd July 2015.

    We hope to see you there!

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  • EU Forum on Local Governance, Vrboska, Island of Hvar/Croatia 2013
    EU Forum on Local Governance, Vrboska, Island of Hvar/Croatia 2013
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    The 10th annual summer school ‘EU Forum on Local Governance’ took place at the Hotel Adriatic, Vrboska, Island of Hvar, from 11-13th September 2013. Over 30 participants from private and public sectors from five different countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia), including college students from U.S. participated in this year school. The EU Forum is a joint collaboration between EPIC (the European Policy Information Center) and Catalys, this year was supported by the Centre of Excellence within the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

    Marija Kapitanovic, Directorate General for Bilateral Affairs within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Croatia opened the summer school with the presentation introducing Ministry’s new Centre of Exellence- Advisory Committee for Transitional Processes whose goal is transfer of lessons and solutions acquired during the EU accession process, as well as regional cooperation through transfer of knowledge and experience.

    Managing Director of Catalys, Ian Baker, during two days of presentations discussed the new 2014-20 programme and funding agenda, project management at local level, as well as acessing EU Funds for local projects.

    Baker also led two project clinics on – ‘Developing Project Proposals’. The participants were divided in four smaller groups and challenged to produce a project based on problem and objective tree analysis. In the space of 24 hours, each group successfully produced a project proposal, which was then evaluated within the workshop.

    Managing Director of European Policy Information Centre (EPIC), Andreas Staab, argued challenges that EU is facing regarding its enlargement. The participants were actively involved in podium discussion over the EU’s future.

    Robert Hancké, Reader in European Political Economy, led a discussion on the Eurozone crisis and its effects on local government. Hancké’s interactive approach encouraged exciting debate over future of the Euro.

    Graham Waddell, the Head of EaRTH (Environmental and Renewable Technologies Hub Programme) linked EU energy policies and its effects on local development. Waddell introduced local case studies and energy challenges that are placed upon the EU.

    Senior advisor at the Croatian Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, Ivan Ciprijan, presented the Croatian IPARD Programme. IPARD is an integral part of the IPA (Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance) and its main objectives are the improvement of market efficiency, implementation of Community standards, preparation for agri-environmental measures and local rural development strategies, as well as development of rural economy. The presentation was especially useful for the participants from the candidate countries and potential candidate countries who are beginning the accession process.

    All participants successfully finished course and were awarded certificates. Evaluations generated afterwards showed over 90% approval rating.

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  • Local Development summer school – its about the local economy…stupid
    Local Development summer school – its about the local economy…stupid
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    Preparation for the summer school on the beautiful island of Hvar is gathering pace.
We can now confirm that Bob Hancké is joining the team to give us the benefit of his internationally renowned expertise in European economic affairs and discuss the implications for local development.

    Does the economic crisis make it more or less likely that local developments will receive funding and should its implications be factored into local project design?  These are questions that could make the difference between success and failure and we are sure will be the subject of heated debate.

    So join us… more information and booking details can be found at http://www.catalys.org.uk/summerschool.html

    Bob is Reader in European Political Economy at the European Institute of the London School of Economics. A long standing contributor to our summer schools, he is an internationally renowned expert on comparative economic performance, labour relations and Economic and Monetary Union. His website is:http://www2.lse.ac.uk/europeanInstitute/staff/academicStaff/hancke/home.aspx

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  • Catalys in North Cyprus
    Catalys in North Cyprus
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    @catalys visited Cyprus this week to meet representatives of the local and international community.  We looked at a number of project ideas, with High Commission, EU and local representatives.

    The first impression was that N Cyprus is very clearly at a crossroads, and although that sounds a cliche, what other word can you give a community with such clear dilemmas in terms of its existence and its identity.   Geographically and atmospherically it also at a crossroads, between west and east, between christian and muslim, but also between north and south, as Russian and gulf investment makes its way through the country and sub-saharan Africans appear in larger numbers.

    One thing that seems to come from all our discussions was that the 2004 Annan plan, although voted down by the Greek part of the island is likely to form the basis of any future unification with its principles of a bi-community, bi-zonal federal structure, which enshrines the all important property rights and individual equality of all citizens.  Any unification will need to be based on a reformed plan, but these principles will probably remain central.

    Clearly economic development patterns in NCyprus will need some considerable re-thinking.  Whilst tourism will continue to be important, developments that simply bus in large numbers of people into totally self contained resort hotel complexes, where all the customers, supplies and staff come from Turkey provide little local benefit, with the local environment and communities simply dealing with the impacts of this unsustainable model.  Unpicking these models will take time.

    There are interesting parallels with our work in the Balkans, particularly Bosnia, where tri-community solutions are necessary for all the key questions, in order to make progress.  In the case of Cyprus, the resolution seems a lot more possible, albeit that nothing appears to have changed over the 9 years since rejection of the Annan plan.

    Population census is also a disputed area, which can make evidence based policy development tricky.  The censuses that have been taken tell an interesting story about the relative balance between the influx of Anatolian Turk settlers and the relative and continuing decline in the Turkish Cypriot population.  Most commentators and the censuses that have been taken estimate a population of about 300,000, split 50/50 between indigenous Turkish Cypriots and the growing settler community of largely rural Anatolian Turks.

    There also appears to be a story of the departure of more educated young Turkish Cypriots and an inflow of less well educated rural people.  It is dangerous to base a view of the current situation on anecdote, but there were clearly a lot of rural Anatolian Turks living in NCyprus and another perspective we heard being aired was that more Turkish Cypriots live outside Cyprus than live on the island.  At one point, we observed a sad scene a family of Turkish being evicted from a house they were occupying illegally near the green line on our walk around Nicosia.  Whatever the politics or the demographics a tragedy for them, and particularly the children.  In the absence of a reliable census, it is impossible to be certain about these questions.

    Most of all though we were given the most wonderful welcome and hospitality wherever we went and it is in the generosity and hearts of people on both sides that the greatest hope for the future resides.   I also want to thank EPIC – The European Policy Information Centre for organising the visits and Andreas Staab for being great company.

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  • Rural Development Training in Bosnia
    Rural Development Training in Bosnia
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    European Policy Information Centre (EPIC) and Catalys consultants held a two-day training seminar in Sarajevo this week for representatives of all ministries responsible for rural development in Bosnia on “strategic planning and harmonisation of agricultural measures.” One of the last steps of this two-year project supported by the British Embassy.

    At the seminar, the participants updated their knowledge, in relation to IPA (Instruments for Pre-Accession) in a further step designed to prepare Bosnia for EU accession.

    One of the participants commented – “with your training, we learnt all about our future obligations for the first time and it has made a deep impression on us.  Still those things we learnt in our earliest training continue to have an effect”


    Britanski konzorcijum konsultanata European Policy information Centre (EPIC) i Catalys je danas u Sarajevu održao seminar za predstavnike svih ministarstva nadležnih za ruralni razvoj na temu “Strateško planiranje i harmonizacija poljoprivrednih mjera”. Ovo je jedna od posljednjih aktivnosti kojom se privodi kraju ovaj dvogodišnji projekat Britanske ambasade.

    Na današnjem seminaru učesnici su saželi sve dosadašnja znanja, te se upoznali sa novim IPA projektom kojim će se ova specijalistička obuka nastaviti. Ovim je napravljen još jedan korak na pripremi BiH za pristup EU.

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