Municipalities: Kozje, Podčetrtek, Rogatec, Rogaška Slatina, Šmarje pri Jelšah
Area size: 369.10 km2
LAG Manager: Development Agency Sotla
LAG Bodies: LAG Members Assembly, LAG Council, LAG Supervisory Board, Project Assessment Board.
Local action group Obsotelje and Kozjansko (a public-private partnership for rural development) was established on April 10th 2008 at the founding meeting of the LAG members where the Agreement of Partnership Foundation of the Local Action Group for Development was signed. LAG was established on past work and cooperation in the Rural Development Program for Obsotelje and Kozjansko. The area has many things in common (geographic and development characteristics etc.) and wants to implement joint development projects and programs for rural development.
LAG Obsotelje and Kozjansko consist of 34 members from 3 different sectors. 12 members come from the public sector, 5 from the economy sector and 17 from the private sector.
Demographic and Geographic Characteristics of LAG
Obsotelje and Kozjansko is a region in the eastern part of Slovenia by the Croatian border. For many people, also from Slovenia, this is a mysterious and yet uncovered part of Slovenia. It is an interesting and hilly countryside where there is an abundance of natural and cultural heritage and sights. There is a balance of hills of Boč, Donačka Gora, Rudnica, Veternik and Orlica which are mostly covered by forests, valleys by the Sotla River and its tributaries and hills with vineyards. Geological composition of the ground has produced many natural resources of thermal and mineral water. At the two major springs two spa centres have been built, centuries old Rogaška Slatina Spa and more recently Terme Olimia Spa. Rural character of the Obsotelje and Kozjansko region derives from the past when farming was the main branch of economy. Urbanization level of this area is still rather low. Area has only two smaller regional centres, Šmarje pri Jelšah and Rogaška Slatina. An important branch of economy and at the same time a major development potential is further development of the tourism and craftsmanship. Most of all, sustainable development of tourism represents a great opportunity for economical, social and cultural development of the area, especially for the rural part, which is already actively participating in development.
Connect local communities, support institutions, companies, farmers, societies and individuals to reach common goals:
- Create conditions for development of entrepreneurship,
- Increase the tourist identity of the region,
- Keep our rural environment “alive”, provide better conditions for life in the countryside,
- Preserve natural environment and identity of Obsotelje and Kozjansko.
- Stimulate integrated development of the area according to the principles of sustainable development with the goal to increase the quality of living in the countryside,
- Animate, educate and connect local population and other stakeholders in the area to actively participate in the development activities,
- Preserve cultural and natural heritage of the area as they are important potential of the area and include them in the development of the area,
- Keep the area populated and at the same time preserve the environment and heritage,
- Stimulate cultural life and strengthen cultural cooperation within the area and with other regions,
- Strengthen identity and recognisability of Obsotelje and Kozjansko region,
- Stimulate development of entrepreneurship in the rural area,
- Stimulate activities of youth, women, marginal groups and societies in the rural area,
- Educate and train members of LAG and inform the broader public about the importance of rural development,
- Stimulate innovativeness and creativity when implementing projects that are important for development of the local environment in the LEADER approach,
- Stimulate project cooperation with other Local Action Groups and areas,
- Become a part of national and European network for rural development,
- Include all target groups in realization of goals,
- Strengthen partner cooperation.
- Entrepreneurial renewal of the rural area and creation of new jobs,
- Competitiveness of farming and forestry,
- Development of organized marketing of products and services,
- Stimulation of sustainable development and ecological farming,
- Development of tourist offer in the rural area,
- Preservation of cultural and natural heritage in the area,
- Learning society,
- Stimulation of societies in the rural area,
- Development of information and communication technologies in the rural area,
- Rural area equipped with infrastructural needs.
- Expert and administrative support to operation of LAG,
- Publishing open invitations for project proposals for receiving grants,
- Counselling to potential applicants,
- Support and counselling by preparation of project proposals, implementation of projects, project monitoring,
- Preparation of program documents,
- Promotion and animation for cooperation in the LAG area and broader.