The European Union’s so-called Community Initiatives were launched about 15 years ago in order to encourage the participation of local actors in cooperation and the exchange of experiences on a European level. LEADER, URBAN, EQUAL and other acronyms stood for a bottom-up approach to local planning and the participation of civil society in political decision-making. By “mainstreaming” these initiatives in conventional structural programmes, the European Union has withdrawn from these very successful programmes. They should be renewed.
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Post written by Hannes Lorenzen, Forum Synergies, PREPARE and CURE network activistAuthor : Challenge for Europe