Sicilian Rural Network, 21 Sicilian Gal unite to promote rural development

The association “Sicilian Rural Network“, The body that will represent all Local Action Groups (GAL) Sicilians. A historic milestone of aggregation from the launch of the “Leader” community initiative to today. The Institution’s objective is to foster rural development and the participation in the institutional partnership of the organizations and administrations directly or indirectly involved.

Also elected the Governing Council that has chosen as president Santo Inguaggiato of Gal Isc Madonie (in the photo). The other two components, Enzo Maccarrone of Gal Etna and Michele Sabatino of Gal Rocca di Cerere Geopark, have assumed the vice presidency.

The intent of the Sicilian Rural Network is to: create the appropriate connections between all those involved in the planning, management and implementation of rural development policy at local, regional, national and EU level (managing authorities, paying agencies, LAGs , etc.); to implement an economic and social partnership in organized forms, including professional organizations of entrepreneurs and the actual or potential beneficiaries of public support; connect civil society and consumers, represented by the various bodies for the promotion and protection of collective interests and public goods.

The association is a representative body which is one of the “relevant partners” that Member States must identify for each Program. It will designate among its members the subjects who will represent the LAGs of Sicily at all the consultation tables, at the national coordination of the LAGs, in the national and European rural network, in the Supervisory Committees of the Structural Funds assigned to the Sicilian Region and in other bodies and institutions. regional, national and community that promote sustainable local development

It will also promote collaborative relationships between the LAG members, universities, research bodies or public and private companies, also playing a role of social promotion and policies to encourage sustainable development, as well as policies aimed at consolidating participatory and democratic institutions. to the promotion and protection of human and civil rights. It will stimulate the participation of widespread stakeholders in the implementation of rural development, inform the public and potential beneficiaries about rural development policies and the opportunities offered, promote, in rural areas, innovation in the agricultural sector, in production agro-food and forestry, social agriculture and Sicilian indigenous biodiversity, as well as sustainable tourism and environmental protection.

Among the strategic priorities of the Sicilian Rural Network we find the improvement of the quality of implementation of the rural development programs of the Sicilian Region, the regional, interregional, national and community operational ones. It will work in concert with the Institutional Systems of the large reference areas, starting with local authorities, for the purpose of implementing the CLLD (Community Led Local Development). All this in an attempt to reconcile a vision of planning from above with a strategic vision from below and to give value to the territorial dimension considered by the European Parliament.

“The Sicilian Rural Network – says President Santo Inguaggiato – is an important milestone for the purposes of representation in the various local and national offices, and of confrontation with institutions, first of all with the Region. The Network will strengthen the LAGs which, with good reason, intend to fully play the role of territorial development agencies by being the meeting point of a vast partnership, public and private: local institutions, democratic associations, productive categories and research bodies. The Network – continues Inguaggiato – has already initiated discussions with the Councilor for Agriculture to accelerate the expenditure of the Local Action Plans of the 2014/2020 programming and for the simplification of procedures in the transition phase, 2021/22, and in view of the new programming, 2023/27. With reference to the RDP and CLLD (PO FESR), the Network asks to increase the resources entrusted to the LAGs to at least 20 percent, a way to satisfy the demand of the territories, to value programming from below, the result of the involvement of the partnership, strengthen the productive fabric in the various sectors and cohesion, always having rural development as a reference. Finally – concludes Santo Inguaggiato – among the objectives, there is that of aiming at the enactment of a regional law that can define the role of the LAGs as an intermediate subject, as required by European legislation ”.

In addition to the Governing Council, the Technical Committee has also been set up, made up of the directors responsible for the plan and the administrative and financial managers of each of the member LAGs, which the Governing Council will have to use for carrying out the activities of the Association and for supporting technician in the representative tables.

21 of the 23 Gal of Sicily are represented on the Governing Council. Santo Inguaggiato, president of Gal Isc Madonie, representing the grouping of Gal of western Sicily (LAG Elimos, LAG Golfo di Castellammare, LAG ISC Madonie, LAG Metropoli Est, LAG Sicani, LAG Terre Normanne, LAG Valle del Belice); Vincenzo Maccarrone, president of the Gal Etna, representing the grouping of Gal of eastern Sicily (LAG Eloro, LAG Etna, LAG Etna Alcantara, LAG Etna Sud, LAG Natiblei, LAG Peloritani, LAG Terre di Aci); Michele Sabatino, president of the Gal Rocca di Cerere Geopark, representing the grouping of Gal of central Sicily (LAG Rocca di Cerere Geopark, LAG Central Southern Sicily, LAG Terre del Nisseno, LAG Tirrenico Mari Monti e Borghi, LAG Tirreno Eolie, LAG Valli del Golfo , LAG Terra Barocca).

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