Once an applicant has submitted an application to a LAG, the group’s board processes the application and issues a statement.
The main eligibility criterion for projects to be funded is the extent to which they meet the conditions of the local strategy drawn up by the LAG, the Leader principles, and the Rural Development Programme for Mainland Finland.
ELY centres check legality
After being processed by the LAG board, applications are submitted together with the board’s statement to the appropriate regional Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre). The 15 ELY centres are regional authorities operating under various ministries, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
The LAGs and ELY Centres work in close cooperation. When the LAG board has made its statement on the project seeking funding, the ELY Centre checks the legality of the project, and issues an official decision on funding.
If the LAG has supported a project, the ELY Centre can only turn it down if the project is illegal. If the LAG did not support the project, the ELY Centre cannot decide to accept it for funding.