The European Court of Auditors (ECA) report examined a number of Members States in its 2010 and 2011 reports. One of the issues highlighted by the ECA related to an imbalance with regard to decision making in the LAGs of some Member States. The ECA stated that the “potential added value of a partnership was not achieved in LAGs where the decision-making was dominated by the local authorities”. That is not the case in Irish LAGs as no one sector, including local authorities, holds a majority position.
I intend that there will be closer alignment with local government for the 2014-2020 Rural Development Programme. However, the composition of the LAG will be in line with the Regulations which require that the LAG is composed of representatives of public and private local socioeconomic interests. The Regulations also require that, at the decision making level, ‘neither public authorities, nor any single interest group represents more than 49% of the voting rights’. Accordingly, the decision making will not be dominated by the local authorities or any single interest group.