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Culture and Rural Development

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In a Word...

Yves Champetier,
Project Director, LEADER Coordination Unit


This eighth edition of LEADER Magazine marks the completion of the first stage of the LEADER Community Initiative, which began at the end of 1991.

Over the past three years, LEADER Magazine has provided a focus for the principal discussions about the future of rural Europe.

Some of the main themes of rural development tackled have been:

  • the conditions necessary for rural tourism to create employment;

  • new opportunities arising from growing consumer demand for natural products. How can rural areas take advantage of this demand?

  • how to broaden the range of small and medium-sized businesses, which are so essential for maintaining employment and quality of services?

  • the environment: how to exploit it for the production of wealth.

This edition seeks to provide an answer to another question crucial to any local approach to development; how can culture act as a tool for rural development?

LEADER Magazine has also made a major contribution to making the public aware of the very wide variety of local projects which have been initiated thanks to LEADER, and has shown the dedication, enthusiasm and the professionalism of the Local Action Groups responsible for initiating these projects. 30000 copies of LEADER Magazine are distributed in the 9 languages of the European Union. It has enabled those involved at a local level and those responsible for rural development polices to gain a greater insight into the European dimension of local problems, using examples from the various parties involved, and it has facilitated an exchange of ideas and experiences, in addition to providing greater motivation for everyone.

As part of the new European Rural Development Network envisaged for LEADER II, LEADER Magazine will have an even more important role, as it will be increasingly geared towards innovation for the development of rural Europe.

source: LEADER Magazine nr.8 - Winter, 1994

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