Original scientific paper
The LEADER program in Hungary and in Europe
2011, 12 (3) p. 486-497
The LEADER program is extremely complex, therefore adequate program leading is vital. On the evidence of the half-time evaluation report, serious shortcomings have been observed. The evaluation work has also been carried out in an unorganized way by the Local Action Teams, hereinafter called ‘HACS’. There was hardly a precedent for cooperation; national networks did not play an important role. Self assessment has rarely been followed by correction steps. The upward approach was taken into account while selecting HACS and carrying out the program’s other stages, although in most parts of the region (for instance in Portugal and Greece) hidden possibilities were not fully put to account. The hitch in the upward approach might have been caused by the lack of downward support. It must be considered to be a negative fact that in consequence of the exclusion of the country towns, the maximum resident threshold (100,000) by local action teams has prevented the establishment of contiguous LEADER area. Although deviation was permitted, the mentioned threshold has been criticized several times because it limits the implementation of sale initiatives in some well developed parts of the country. As for the effect on broadening the knowledge of cooperation and network building, there are numerous signs in some countries like Ireland, Finland and Austria, that the LEADER approach, forwarding the information to other interested country parties, facilitates integrated country development. For my further analysis my plan is to gather information about certain stages of the LEADER and the temporary work of the local action teams from various countries. I would like to find the most optimal index for each action team respectively their support and their achieved work.