THE LEADER APPROACH
"LIAISON ENTRE ACTIONS DE DÉVELOPPEMENT DE L'ÉCONOMIE RURALE"
LEADER is a French acronym meaning “Links between the rural economy and development actions”.
The aim of LEADER is to increase support to deliver activities which support the countryside and rural communities, encouraging a sustainable management of agriculture and environment. LEADER seeks to support innovative responses to opportunities or challenges faced in rural areas and has a number of key features:
- It has a ‘bottom up’ approach to rural development i.e. that local people participate in the priorities to be pursued in their local area.
- It accommodates communities with the opportunity of testing out new and innovative ideas and working in different ways.
- It allows joint projects to be undertaken with another LEADER group, or with a group taking a similar approach in another region or Member State. Such cooperation can help LEADER groups to boost their local activities and can provide opportunities for mutual learning.
- It provides the opportunity for LEADER groups, administrations and organisations involved in rural development to network, exchange achievements, experiences and know-how. It represents a means of transferring good practice, of disseminating innovation and of building on the lessons learned from local rural development.