Over the last 20 years, the LEADER approach on community-based local development (CLLD) – funded by the Structural and Rural Development Funds, helped rural actors to look at long-term dynamics of their local region and proved to be an effective and efficient tool in the implementation of development policies. The European Commission has also promoted this method of implementation through Community initiatives such as URBAN and EQUAL. LEADER, for which a continuous EU support has been provided since 1991, it has evolved into an important element of rural development policy with a high degree of acceptance across Europe. Since 2007, local development has also been used within the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund to support the sustainable development of fishing communities.
Articles 32-35 (4) of the Common Provisions Regulation (EU) 1303/2013 for the CLLD are based on the LEADER approach and concern four of the funds covered by the Common Strategic Framework – the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund – In the 2014-2020 programming period (ESIF – the European Structural and Investment Funds).
The CLLD is an individual tool to be used at sub-regional level which is complementary to other development support at a local level. The CLLD can mobilize and involve local communities and organizations in order to contribute to the achievement of Europe 2020 objectives for smart, sustainable and unrestricted development, fostering territorial cohesion and achieving its own policy objectives.
What is the concept of development with the initiative of the local communities (CLLD)?
A unique methodology for the CLLD for ESIF, which:
- focuses on specific sub-regional areas,
- is being developed on the initiative of communities, by local action groups made up of representatives of local public and private socio-economic interests,
- is implemented through integrated and multidisciplinary local development strategies per region, designed to take into account local needs and dynamics, and
- takes into account local needs and dynamism, includes innovative local features, networking and, where appropriate, cooperation.
This unified methodology will allow the connected and integrated use of Funds to implement local development strategies.
What is the goal?
The main objectives of this common approach by ESIF are to simplify and broaden the use of CLLD as a development tool. The CLLD:
- will encourage local communities to develop integrated bottom-up approaches to situations where there is a need to respond to territorial and local challenges requiring structural change,
- will empower the collectivity of the community and stimulate the innovation (including social innovation), entrepreneurship and the capacity to act for change by encouraging the development and discovery of untapped potential within communities and regions, fostering community cohesion and stimulating innovation (including social innovation),
- will promote social ownership by fostering community participation and develop a sense of involvement, which can enhance the effectiveness of EU policies and
- will assist multilevel governance by providing a way for local communities to fully participate in the implementation of EU objectives in all regions.