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7.1 Comprehensive land consolidation has been instrumental in promoting rural development in Western Europe. It has the potential to make similar significant contributions towards improving the quality of rural life in Central and Eastern Europe. Transition countries will be able to benefit considerably from concepts and techniques developed in Western Europe but they will have to devise new approaches and solutions to address the particular conditions of fragmentation they have; the social, cultural, economic, legal, administrative and political environment in which they operate; and the financial and other resources that they are able to mobilise.

7.2 Pilot projects are an important step towards introducing a comprehensive land consolidation programme within a rural development strategy. Such projects allow the designers of the land consolidation programme to identify the administrative, legal and operational arrangements and procedures that best suit the local conditions. The experience of these projects will allow for informed decisions about the permanent structures needed for the long-term programme. Experiences with other initiatives to promote consolidation outside the project sites will also serve to inform these fundamental decisions.

7.3 Because the pilot projects will be the vehicle for getting experience needed to solve problems, the problems within the pilot project sites should not be insurmountable. Pilot sites should be representative of the types of tenure conditions found elsewhere but care should be taken to ensure that unnecessary obstacles, such as unique local opposition to the project, does not cause the pilot to fail. Considerable support will have to be mobilised from a number of sectors of society even before a pilot project can be launched. Successful pilots will be the way to extend that support across the country.

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