FOR THE FUTURE OF THE REGION…
Strengthening effective cooperation between regional organizations, participating in the coordination of research and sectoral programmes related to the Lake Balaton, keeping contact and consulting with territorially competent counties, districts and municipalities are important tasks of the Agency.
The Lake Balaton Development Coordination Agency (LBDCA) is a non-profit organisation. It was established in January 1, 2000 by the Lake Balaton Development Council. The Agency performs professional and operative duties promoting the development of the LBRA in relation to the activities of LBDC. The LBDCA has 21 employees working at three offices around the lake at Siófok, Keszthely and Balatonfüred.
The basic activities of the Agency include the participation in the preparation and implementation of regional development programmes. Pursuant to the decision of the Council, the LBDCA performs tasks related to the programming process of the Lake Balaton region. Consequently, the Agency has contributed to the:
- elaboration and implementation of the Preliminary Regional Development Programme (Phare Programme);
- preparation of development plans of the LBRA for the EU programming periods of 2004-2006 and 2007-2013;
- elaboration of the Long-term Development Concept of the Lake Balaton Region (2007-2020) and revision of the Concept in 2014; and
- preparation of the regional development documents for the programming period of 2014-2020.
In addition to the elaboration of development documents, the Agency continuously monitors and analyses the implementation of the Concept and the regional development plans, as well as studies the social-economic processes of the region.
A priority task of the LBDCA is managing the application of development funds appropriated by the central budget based on the Council’s decisions. In executing its duties, the Agency prepares calls for tenders and manages activities related to applications (call for tenders, announcement, continuous consultation and information supply, accepting applications, carrying out completion procedures, preparing for decision-making, and providing information about support decisions). LBDCA makes the contracts signed by the winner applicants. Furthermore, the Agency performs the financial supervision of partial and final reporting. And last, but not least it carries out on-site monitoring on the achieved developments on the basis of the annual plan.
Guarantee of the development of the region is that the area can only be developed by the collective effort of local residents. In the framework of the Lake Balaton Partnership Programme several initiatives have been started, whose implementation is supported by the LBDCA. The “Let’s Move your body!” amateur sport programme series, launched in 2004, offers guided sporting opportunities at beaches around the lake. The Tourism Destination Management system is the most important opportunity for the revival of tourism in the area. Additionally, the “Lake Balaton, the safest lake in Europe” project was also initiated by the extensive cooperation of local stakeholders. The purpose of the project is to deserve the title of “safest lake” through the improvement of public security, especially water safety.
Besides the implementation of ongoing programmes, the LBDCA believes that the promotion of new project ideas, the search for existing project initiatives and their development into applications are also important duties.
The LBDCA participates in several international projects to promote the development of the area and make cooperation more effective. The Agency aims to protect natural values of Lake Balaton and to increase the competitiveness of the region at international level through learning about and adopting foreign best practices. Over the past few years, the Agency has implemented 22 international projects in the framework of 12 international cooperation programmes. LBDCA employees participate regularly at international conferences and they share the gained knowledge and experiences with local stakeholders at regional workshops.
Since 2001, LBDCA has been performing planned research in the fields of economics and social sciences to help achieving the area’s development objectives. This activity is carried out by a professional Social Science Research Team at Balatonfüred. Besides enhancing the sustainability of natural and environmental values, the tasks of the team include providing support for territorial policy by scientific tools in order to retain the region’s population and to maintain and improve the unique sociological quality of the local society of the LBRA. In relation to that, several research projects have been completed.
Upon assignment, the LBDCA also provides consultancy services for regional actors related to a given project or a territory. The main areas of consultancy services are the following:
- Project information and consultancy, searching for call for proposals, project generation, elaboration of project proposals, coordination of project activities, elaboration of progress and financial reports, monitoring activities;
- Complex management of projects with high-priority, preparation of feasibility studies and implementation of cost-benefit analyses;
- Preparation of environmental protection plans and programmes, environmental supervision, preliminary environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment;
- Elaboration of socio-economic studies pursuing territorial development objectives.
- Provision of financial and accounting services for foundations and non-profit organisations;
- Organisation of conferences, meetings, and events.