LEADER programme

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Logo of the LEADER programme

The LEADER programme (in French – Liaison entre actions de développement de l'économie rurale – In English - Links between actions for the development of the rural economy) is a European Union initiative to support rural development projects in rural, coastal and urban areas of EU member countries.

  • LEADER I ran from 1991 to 1993
  • LEADER II ran from 1994 to 1999
  • LEADER+ ran from 2000 to 2006

In the current programming period (2014-2020), the LEADER method was extended to cover not only rural but also coastal (FARNET) and urban areas under the Community-led Local Development (CLLD).

Operation and objectives[edit]

LEADER+ projects are managed by local action groups (LAGs). Each project must involve a relatively small area, with a population of between 10,000 and 100,000. In France, the whole country is eligible with the exception of urban areas with over 50,000 inhabitants. France has 140 local action groups.

Methodology[edit]

From 1991 until 2001 the LEADER methodology was developed with the support of the European Commission's technical assistance contractor, AEIDL. LEADER developed seven principles of local development.

The 7 principles of the LEADER local development approach

These are:

  • Area-based: taking place in a small, homogeneous socially cohesive territory
  • Bottom-up: local actors design the strategy and choose the actions
  • Public-private partnership: LAGs are balanced groups involving public and private-sector actors, which can mobilise all available skills and resources
  • Innovation: giving LAGs the flexibility to introduce new ideas and methods
  • Integration: between economic, social, cultural and environmental actions, as distinct from a sectoral approach
  • Networking: allowing learning among people, organisations and institutions at local, regional, national and European levels
  • Co-operation: among LEADER groups, for instance to share experiences, allow complementarity or to achieve critical mass

Funding[edit]

  • LEADER I (1991–93) supported 217 LAGS with EU funding of €0.442 billion from the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF)[1]
  • LEADER II (1994–99) supported 906 LAGs with EU funding of €1.755 billion
  • LEADER+ (2000–06) supported 893 LAGs with EU funding of €2.105 billion, and a total budget of €5.05 billion

Follow-up[edit]

In 2013 the LEADER approach, which had developed in a rural context, was extended to apply to urban and coastal areas under the title of Community-Led Local Development (CLLD).

References[edit]

  1. ^ European Commission, The Leader approach — A basic guide, Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2006, ISBN 92-79-02044-7

External links[edit]