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Fighting social exclusion in rural areas

[ Summary ]




Although the fight against social exclusion was not explicitly considered part of the LEADER II intervention measures, in most cases the local action groups (LAGs), in their effort to use all the local potential of rural areas, had to take account of problems of exclusion, unemployment and isolation. Thus, a certain awareness of the subject arose as the Initiative was implemented. The LAGs gradually confirmed the importance of the local level in interventions concerning social cohesion. In some countries, for example. in Ireland, these interventions became a key aspect of the strategies implemented. The new Community Initiative for rural development, LEADER+, asserts the need to go further and to deepen the intervention methods with emphasis on equal opportunity and job creation actions.

Furthermore, how can the future LEADER+ LAGs operating in concrete territories not take into account one of the aspects of the European agenda that urgently requires the search for new approaches and solutions [1]?

This report is divided into four chapters:

  • Chapter I - Social exclusion, a multidimensional phenomenon
  • Chapter II - Diagnosis and strategies to fight social exclusion in rural areas
  • Chapter III - Taking action against social exclusion in rural areas: what methods? what tools?
  • Chapter IV - Consolidating the fight against social exclusion by including it in an area-based approach

Seven case studies used at the seminar “Finding answers to situations of exclusion in rural areas” are analysed in detail in chapter III:


Country Region Area Title
France Brittany Central West Brittany The rural inclusion plan of the Cornouaille morbihannaise
France Auvergne Forez and Plaine de la Loire Recreating social links for the inclusion of farmers in difficulty in the Loire
Finland Oulu Utajärvi Helping the elderly remain independent
Italy Trento Valle di Non Valle di Non Social cooperative: disability awareness group (“Gruppo sensibilizzazione handicap”)
United Kingdom Scotland Angus Angus transport forum: a solution to rural transport problems
Ireland Ireland the whole RRI (Rural Resettlement Ireland) Helping city families faced with exclusion move to the country
Italie Emilia-Romagna Sant’Arcangelo di Romagna The “Time Bank”



[1] Readers interested in knowing more
about Community social exclusion policies can
consult the European Commission Communications
COM(2000)78 and COM(2000)79 and the Web site

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