The European LEADER Association for Rural Development (ELARD) is an international non-profit making association that was established in 1999 by the National LEADER Networks of different EU Member States.
The importance of the LEADER method in the context of a local development strategy has been recognised all over Europe, and there are plenty examples under LEADER approach that show how local development strategies can be developed with LEADER funding and how they may continue to have a positive impact into the next programming period.
ELARD is convinced that the LEADER methodology is an ideal tool for supporting the Europe 2020 Strategy aims in terms of “smart”, “sustainable” and “inclusive” growth. Thousands of Local Action Groups have demonstrated that applying the specific features of the LEADER methodology can help to find both innovative and environmentally and socially sustainable solutions for rural development and help mobilising the unique human, social, economic and cultural potential of rural Europe. Read more
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Welcome to the European LEADER association for Rural Development web site
With over 56 % of the population in the 28 Member States of the European Union (EU) living in rural areas, which cover 91 % of the territory, rural development is a vitally important policy area. Farming and forestry remain crucial for land use and the management of natural resources in the EU's rural areas, and as a platform for economic diversification in rural communities. The strengthening of EU rural development policy is, therefore, an overall EU priority. (Fact Sheet - THE EU RURAL DEVELOPMENT POLICY 2007-2013, European Commission.)
NEW! Looking for partners to your transnational cooperation project?The Transnational Cooperation Tool will allow you to search for projects and to look for project partners!
Currently all EU Member States are preparing the new programming period 2014-2020. The ongoing negotiations among the Commission, managing authorities, regional bodies and key actors aim at reaching a comon agreement on support for rural development. See our survey providing short insight into the policy-making process across the member states.