General information about the LEADER approach

In the year 1991 began the implementation of the Community Initiative LEADER (Liaisons Entre Actions de Développement de l ‘Economie Rurale – Links between actions for the development of the economy of rural areas) in our country, and at European level, which was the beginning a new approach to rural development policy. Through LEADER based integrated and multisectoral development, while given the opportunity for local communities to design and choose the same way and the “path” of development. The encouraging results of the first pilot and the finding that the Initiative contributed inversely with its budget, the activation of the local population, led to a more systematic and comprehensive planning, the LEADER II. When B Programming Period initiative aims to trigger even more local people to design bottom-up local development strategies. The continuation of the Initiative within the C Programming Period, through the LEADER +, which was opened in logic and the philosophy of the previous embodiments, is trying to introduce and enhance their cooperation ties particularly between local actors and social groups to effect the implementation of an integrated strategy. After having experienced three programming periods, the LEADER initiative had reached a level of maturity to be implemented in rural areas under Axis 4 of the RDP serving this key goals. Additionally at the 4th Programming Period similar initiative was implemented for the first time, under Axis 4 of TDC (EFF) successfully in 22 Member States.

During the programming period 2014-2020 the LEADER approach retains the key element of a bottom-up approach in the design of multidisciplinary local strategies and also gives the possibility of multi-fund approach (CLLD) and the expansion of application areas. Maintained throughout their innovative approaches of previous programming periods, while given the broadening of local programs as to the type of planned actions and GRNET and their areas.

Specifically, the CLLD-LEADER initiative include the following elements:

  • Local development strategies on a local basis, for clearly defined territorial areas whose population ranges between 10000-150000 residents. Where multi-fund approach, the specific restriction applies to the overall area of ​​application and not to any individual per GRNET application area.
  • Local partnerships public – private partnerships, called “Local Action Groups” (LAG).
  • Approach of bottom-up decision-making power for local action groups concerning the elaboration and implementation of a local development strategy.
  • Multisectoral design and implementation of the strategy based on the interaction between actors and projects of different sectors of the local economy.
  • Applicability of a multi-fund approach involving the EAFRD, EMFF, ERDF and ESF in order to strengthen an integrated approach to local projects through close synergy between funds.
  • Innovative approaches.
  • Implementing cooperation projects.
  • Networking of local partnerships.

Community Led Local Development

For the programming period 2014-2020, the design of the Integrated Approach is focusing on investment priorities by Structural Fund serving thematic objectives, which had been lagging behind in previous periods, by linking interventions in other investment priorities to these thematic objectives, with structuring these instruments to achieve leverage resources, while their overall design should help needed to boost employment and to address the crisis. The aim is to finance the Integrated Spatial Development of the EAFRD funds, EMFF, ESF and ERDF and the gradual application of the tools of Integrated Spatial Development in each territorial unit, starting with pilot projects and moving the interventions according to the provisions of this spatial strategy .

Pursuant to Article 6 of Regulation 1305/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council on support for rural development by the EAFRD and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005, taking into account the NSRF 2014-2020 drafted by the Ministry of Rural Development & Food plan of the Greek Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.

Within this were defined the basic principles of rural development, regards to:

  • economic and environmental sustainability,
  • promotion of the knowledge society as a structural element of the innovative entrepreneurship,
  • openness and
  • employment and social cohesion.

On this basis the vision of rural development is “Integrated development and sustainable competitiveness of rural areas” with key vehicle to enhance the competitiveness of the agri-food system and highlight the multifunctional character of rural areas. Achieving the vision for integrated sustainable development and competitiveness of rural areas, contributes to the three objectives of the “Europe 2020” strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth through the three EU objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy. The strategy is structured around two interrelated and complementary objectives, aimed at mitigating the long-term recession impacts of the current economic crisis and to achieve the general commitments undertaken by the country for fiscal consolidation and sustainable development.