The LEADER approach can be simply defined as relations between rural actions.

It is crucial to recognize the outstanding uniqueness of each area and innovatively utilize its potential.

LEADER tends to stimulate the development of rural areas that are being inhabited by 90% of Europe’s population through the collaboration of everyone on LAG’s area.


The LEADER program consists of 7 key elements – principles that have to be followed:

  • Area-based approach: every rural area has its own characteristics, uniqueness and potential – thus being the key to future planning
  • Bottom-up approach: local actors join forces and share quality ideas and actions
  • LEADER’s original idea: establishing public-private partnerships in form of Local Action Groups
  • Establish local partnerships: small initiatives are often to fail, especially in small local areas due to lack of strength, credibility and confidence. It is crucial to establish partnerships and collaborations.
  • Innovation: tradition is the foundation of sustainable rural development, but innovations aren’t less important – they are crucial for the competitive and innovative representation of tradition
  • Integration and multi-sectoral approach: multi-sectoral connections, vertical and horizontal ones, contribute to sustainable rural development – especially when connecting local, regional and national institutions
  • Networking: connecting, learning and transferring knowledge and experience is a very important aspect. It gives an overall framework for support in European rural development
  • Cooperation: a step further from networking – initiation and realization of joint projects between two or more Local Action Groups