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Organising local partnerships



This document has shown that there exists a huge variety of partnerships and explained why this is so, be it for external reasons linked to local context, or internal reasons relating to the composition, focus or objectives of the partnership and the stage reached in local development.

We have looked at the logic of partnerships as well, but also at the prerequisites for setting them up and developing them towards that 'point of no return' which is reached when all the problems facing an area are taken on board; at forward planning and the strategic vision; and at the balanced management of short-, medium- and long-term needs.

Finally, once a partnership has matured, the question sooner or later arises of sharing responsibility: a successful partnership should not displace existing authorities but legitimise them by refocusing them on clear functions which interrelate both with one another and with the local community.

But partnerships, like the development they serve, are open-ended, and the debate is far from over. Three further questions, in particular, need to be answered:

  • How can pre-existing partnerships be taken positively into account under LEADER or another local development programme?

  • How can a partnership system change or influence major investment decisions which structure the area and local society?

  • How can a balance be struck between a partnership's need for sustainable resources to ensure its continuity and its need to draw upon local efforts, a token and sign of maturity and responsibility?

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