Community-led Local Development
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Over the past 20 years, the LEADER approach’ to community-led local development (CLLD), financed by the Structural and the Rural Development Funds, has helped rural actors consider the long-term potential of their local region, and proven an effective and efficient tool in the delivery of development policies. The European Commission has promoted this delivery method also through Community Initiatives URBAN and EQUAL. In the case of LEADER, for which continuous EU support has been provided since 1991, it has become an important element of rural development policy with a high level of acceptance all over 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 of the Common Provisions Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013, for 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 (the ESI Funds – European Structural and Investment Funds).
CLLD is a specific tool for use at sub-regional level, which is complementary to other development support at local level. CLLD can mobilise and involve local communities and organisations to contribute to achieving the Europe 2020 Strategy goals of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, fostering territorial cohesion and reaching specific policy objectives.