Community-Led Local Development (CLLD)
Since it was launched in 1991 by the European Commission as a Community Initiative, the LEADER local development approach has been providing rural communities in the EU with a method for involving local partners in shaping the future development of their area. The LEADER approach has attracted a high level of interest within the EU and far beyond, not only in rural but also in urban and coastal areas.
The early generations of LEADER received funding from the EU structural funds as a separate Community Initiative. It reached a "maturity" phase in 2004-2006 and has, since 2007, been co-funded under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
While LEADER receives full support from EU institutions and all related stakeholders, it was acknowledged that LEADER has not fulfilled its full potential to comprehensively integrate local needs and solutions into Local Development Strategies (LDS). Therefore in order to allow local territories better taking multi-sectoral needs into account, it is proposed that in the future LDS may be supported by other (than EAFRD) EU funds (called multi-funded approach).
In this multi-fund context, the LEADER approach will be referred to as "Community-Led Local Development" (CLLD). For 2014 to 2020 CLLD (LEADER) will remain a mandatory part of the Rural Development Programmes funded by the EAFRD and a possible option under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF), and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). In order to ensure coherence of integrated LDS and actions, common rules are to be applied for these funds under the "Common Strategic Framework".
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