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Special LEADER Symposium

Towards a new Initiative for rural development:
800 leaders give their views


In a word...
by Yves Champetier, Director, LEADER European Observatory

Rural development for the period 2000-2006: the symposium confirms the role of LEADER
The symposium was an opportunity for Commissioner Franz Fischler to announce his plan of proposing a new Community Initiative for rural development strengthening the main principles of LEADER.

One symposium, one context
Agenda 2000, new perspectives for rural development in Europe

LEADER, culture and rural development
Local culture acting as a source of activities, pride and well-being, is at the heart of the strategy of Local Action Groups.

272 contributions: a strong message for the future of rural development in Europe
The European summary of the written contributions received shortly before the symposium carries a strong message for the Commission and the European Union in general.

Stands, "Meeting Points", "Forums", "Rural Cyberspace"... An interactive symposium
In addition to the plenary sessions and workshops, the LEADER symposium included a large number of activities showing a vibrant, enterprising and convivial rural Europe.

Transnational cooperation: moving into high gear
A unique opportunity to meet in person some 800 LEADER beneficiaries, the symposium was a genuine opportunity to launch the transnational cooperation dimension of the Initiative.

Map of the LEADER II's Zones

Employment, quality of life, local democracy, subsidiarity, innovation, networking... The LEADER method from A to Z
Each of the six thematic workshops of the symposium showed that the LEADER method, even if it sometimes "disrupted" certain institutional practices, was a rather appropriate response to the major challenges of rural society.

800 LEADERs give their views
Heino von Meyer summed up the 6 workshops of the symposium and concluded with a text which was equivalent to a declaration.

A new Community Initiative for the development of rural areas
Closing speech by Mr Franz Fischler, Member of the European Commission, responsible for agriculture and rural development.

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