Local partnerships for the development of coastal regions: a review of Fisheries Local Action Groups with focus on the Mediterranean

In the last programming period of the European Maritime Fisheries Fund, Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs) have been in charge of meeting the objectives of Union Priority 4, aimed at boosting territorial cohesion and employment in European coastal areas. These local partnerships have hence received support for the elaboration of local development strategies that should promote both territorial and sectorial projects, balancing the interests of the different stakeholders involved. This article provides for a literature review of the scientific contributions on FLAGs, organizing the main findings according to the six dimensions of the Porter’s Diamond Model in the context of the cluster analysis on coastal communities’ competitiveness. Moreover, by focusing on FLAGs from Italy, Spain and France, the paper discusses the orientation towards sectoral and territorial interests in the Mediterranean. It emerges that while the literature has mostly emphasized their territorial functions, FLAGs- especially those in areas with relatively higher incidence of employment in fisheries-related sectors- have prioritized projects of sectorial scope.