Over the past ten years, the EU’s bottom-up rural development method LEADER has been expanding to new policy areas, such as coastal and fisheries development policy as well as urban development policy. LEADER pilots have also been launched in new geographic areas, e.g. in the Balkan area, Latin America and Africa. What are the lessons learnt from these experiments? Can they offer new cooperation platforms to European rural territories?
A key to doing good rural policy is understanding the diversity of rural areas, and enabling local communities to develop their community based on their own needs and ideas. That is what makes LEADER exceptionally good.
Petri Rinne works as a LEADER Local Action Group (LAG) Manager in the South-West of Finland. He has also chaired the European LAG Network ELARD and is currently chairing the Finnish Village Movement Association, which is an umbrella organisation of Finnish rural and urban communities and LEADER LAGs. His passion is LEADER method dissemination to new geographic areas and policy fields – cause LEADER can really make a difference!
Antonia Husberg works as a Senior Officer on Rural Affairs at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland. Her duties pertain to the Rural Policy Council, a horizontal body with a place based, bottom-up approach to policymaking, appointed by the Government.