NICOLE - New Initiatives and Co-operation for Local Economies


NICOLE logo and EU flag with the text: Co-funded by the European Union.
LICOLE-logo ja EU lippu tekstillä: Co-funded by the European Union.

Problem Statement:

Many EU regions are relatively far from development centres and face numerous challenges in areas of sustainable local development. There is often a lack of advanced technical, transport, social and environmental infrastructure, lack of jobs but also a lack of skilled workforce, integration of the disadvantaged into the labor market and other functional sustainable local development schemes, but also innovative solutions in economic, social and environmental areas. In almost all indicators, development indicators show a significant lag behind the European average, and this also applies to areas that circumvent GDP and quality of life indicators (self-help, good governance, community building, social and crosssectoral cooperation, combating climate change, integration of vulnerable communities).

For many years, the educational sector has lagged behind the most successful EU countries for many complex reasons. This is also reflected in the municipal area where elected representatives of local governments lack the knowledge, skills and experience of effective and transparent management for the future of their municipalities. 

The main challenges of local development nowadays include the fight against climate change and adaptation to climate change, the integration of long-term vulnerable and disadvantaged minorities, the outflow of young people, the establishment and maintenance of the integrity of local authorities and the maintenance of local social and economic development. However, if you do a local survey of the village's problems, most mayors will tell you instead that the village is badly missing a repaired square, repair a leaking road, or a fence in the local cemetery. Therefore there is a need for specific training for elected local government representatives, particularly in the area of seeking quality responses to the above-mentioned global and local challenges. Despite everything in these border regions, there are present good governance practices, the fruits of the long-term efforts of enlightened managers, mayors and people who strive for a better life for all.

The NICOLE project therefore sought  to address the training of decision-makers, built  on these good practices and case studies and enabled the sharing of the best practices, promoted the transfer of good governance practices and experiences, and by testing the training courses reinforced the further sustainable development of the lagging border regions.

Purpose of the project was :

Improve the local development management skills of decision makers and as desired impact improve strategic and action planning and implementation of high quality social and economic development plans by local stakeholders.

Objective of the project:

To increase awareness and knowledge of deputies and mayors of local governments, to improve their skills in managing local development and thus to improve planning and implementation of social and economic development of municipalities.

Specific objectives:

1) Increase the availability of best local development practices

2) Improve skills, competences, knowledge base of trainers/educator teaching local development stakeholders (primary target group)

3) Increase awareness, competence, knowledge and responsiveness of local development actors (secondary target group)

Realized project activities:

a) Preparation of local development tool (Municipal Profile) which utilises number of local, regional and national indicators to better understand and know the local problems, challenges, opportunities and smart ways of development. 

b) Identification, collection, development  and dissemination of  good local development practices and publication them in form of a Best Practice Guidebook for other decision-makers and candidates of border regions of EU.

c) to prepare and develop and test a training course for decision-makers in areas of project interest ( particularly integration of vulnerable communities,  climate change,  local development), to share and expand, to enrich local development schemes with new ideas, solutions and practices

d) Preparation and provision of on-line tools for local decision-makers, local, regional and national actors (Indicators and best practices).

Project outputs:

1) Methodology of Municipal profiles (indicators)  

2) Best Practice Guidebook  - Handbook of best practices of local development on social entrepreneurship and other project priorities (how to ...?)

3) On line tool for local stakeholders (making local development planning more efficient).

Target groups :

• Trainers, educators of the partners active in adult education and trainings (30 persons)

• Local decision makers (mayors, councillors,) (300 persons in 7 countries)

• Local stakeholders interested in local development (community leaders, priests, NGO activists, farmers, entrepreneurs) - 70 persons

Trans-national dimension:

The project builds on variety of local and national best practices of several EU countries and bring together numerous successful approached that satisfy very different local development needs and conditions. This approach will provide universal set of tools that builds on differences but provide common -universal guidance and answers. Besides that the project provides big variety of skills and various knowledge from 6 countries.

Project Coordinator:
Gejza Legen / Legend Foto

The person responsible for the project in Pirkan Helmi:
Eliisa Vesisenaho
Executive Manager
+358 40 750 2242

Upload the project materials