LEADER is a local development method which has been used for 20 years to engage local actors in the design and delivery of strategies, decision-making and resource allocation for the development of their rural areas.
It is implemented by around 2 600 Local Action Groups (LAGs), covering over 54% of the rural population in the EU and bringing together public, private and civil-society stakeholders in a particular area.
In the rural development context, LEADER is implemented under the national and regional Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) of each EU Member State, co-financed from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
In the 2014-2020 programming period, the LEADER method has been extended under the broader term Community-Led Local Development (CLLD) to three additional EU Funds:
- the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF);
- the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF); and
- the European Social Fund (ESF).
Although LEADER is obligatory only under the EAFRD, a single action can now be supported under two or more of the four EU Funds at the same time through the concept of multi-funded CLLD. Where this is applied, it enables LAGs to comprehensively integrate local needs and solutions and helps to reinforce the links between rural, urban and fisheries areas.
- LEADER Local Development Strategies (LDS): Guidance on design and implementation
EU guidance and legislation
- Common Provisions Regulation No 1303/2013 for the European Structural and Investment Funds
- Guidance on Community-Led Local Development in European Structural and Investment Funds
- Guidance on Community-Led Local development for Local Actors (May 2014)
- Development and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund
CLLD outside rural areas
- Community-Driven Development (CDD) programs, World Bank
- Urban-rural linkages & RURBAN, DG REGIO
- Implementing CLLD in cities, URBACT
- Cooperation between LEADER LAGs and Fisheries LAGs, FARNET