LEADER (”Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l’Économie Rurale”) meaning ‘Links between the rural economy and development actions’) is a local development method which allows local actors to develop an area by using its endogenous development potential.
The LEADER approach has been an important component of EU Rural Development Policy for over 20 years. Since 2007 it has been funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). In the period 2007-2013 it was successfully applied in fisheries areas as Axis 4 of the European Fisheries Fund and since 2014 this approach, called “Community-Led Local Development” (CLLD) can be implemented not only in the EAFRD (where it is still called LEADER), but also in the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF).
The Local Development Strategy Northwest of Skåne including Öresund 2014-2020
Northwest of Skåne including Öresund comprises ten municipalities, a number of lakes, rivers and a long coastline. The strategy aims to develop the area according to the Leader method, which means cooperation between different actors, local support and an explicit bottom-up approach.
The strategy works with four funds; the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, European Sea – and Fisheries Fund, the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund.
The strategy follows the four fund´s focus, which means that the geographical division is different depending on which fund that will support a certain project. Through the multi-fund opportunity, we will work with finding methods that aims to reduce the uneven division which, to some extent, characterizes the northwest of Skåne. Working with all four funds creates opportunities to seize and create a whole and achieve synergies through project coordination. The deep entrenched regional cooperation with the Association of Local Authorities, the County Administrative Board and the County Council of Skåne gives great opportunities to coordinate funding opportunities and avoid project-fatigue and vagueness.
The overall aim is a long-term, well anchored and sustainable development driven by those who are living and working in the area.
The strategy is based on the vision the Northwest of Skåne including Öresund – the self-sufficient region and will work with the five overall objectives and the related fields of action:
- Strengthening local market
- Attractive living
- Competence maintenance
- A vital environment
- Enable and encourage learning.
LAG, the Local Action Group, is responsible for implementing the strategy and will consist of representatives from the various sectors of the municipalities concerned. Direct under LAG acts the rural secretariat, which is responsible for the practical activities, including information management, finance and outreach work.
During almost a year a wide network has laid the foundation for the strategy´s all parts, many people from many sectors have in different ways made their voices heard. This work ensures that the strategy will be implemented in collaboration with local and regional participants. The process has been open and a learning experience. Since we mixed experiences of the Leader projects during 2007-2013 with experiences drawn from the project in the funds that are new in this context, we look for new ways and new partnerships. We also see that the Leader approach ensures local presence and knowledge.