Extracts from the press briefing by Lazaros S. Lazarou, Member of the European Court of Auditors, on ECA special report "Implementation of the Leader approach for rural development"
In its special report No 5/2010 "Implementation of the Leader approach for rural development, published on 16/11/2010, the European Court of Auditors found that local action groups (LAGs) implemented the Leader approach in ways that limited the potential for added value, and gave grants to projects without due regard to efficiency.
Leader was an approach for implementing the EU's rural development policy through LAGs (Local Action Groups).
The report pointed out that the procedures were not always transparent, and did not sufficiently demonstrate that the LAGs took decisions on an objective basis, free from conflicts of interest. The European Commission had not yet demonstrated the effectiveness or efficiency of the expenditure, the added value achieved through following the Leader approach, the extent to which the known risks had materialised or the real costs of implementation, according to the report.
Lazaros S. Lazarou, Member of the European Court of Auditors, gave a press briefing to present this report.