Solidarity for the people of Ukraine

Almost a month has passed since the war started. We, the rural civil sector movements in Europe, representing more than 40 countries and half of the European population living in rural areas, have been deeply shocked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and sent out a declaration of solidarity on the 28th of February.

In order to spare civilians, we call on all involved to enhance their efforts towards a civilized solution of the conflict and cease fire.

European evaluation shows efficiency of LEADER

The LEADER programme (Liaison entre actions de développement de l’économie rurale) is effective in developing solutions to social & economic challenges in rural areas, according to a study published by the Commission on March 17. The 213-page ‘Evaluation Support Study on the Impact of Leader on Balanced Territorial Development’*, drawn up by experts in the UK, Austria & Belgium, shows that the programme is best at creating & maintaining jobs, adding local value to products & modernising businesses. LEADER accounted for only 7% of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), but demonstrated relevance & effectiveness across the EU, the authors found. They did identify areas for improvement, including in knowledge exchange between parts of the governance & delivery system & called for improved communication, with simpler procedures.

Find the whole report here

European LEADER Award winner

Congratulations to the winner of the European LEADER Award for Gender Equality WOW – Onegoal from Sweden!

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Leader France, in collaboration with ELARD, is organizing an award ceremony for the European LEADER Award for Gender Equality. This competition, open to all European LAGs, highlights concrete achievements funded by the LEADER 2014-2020 program and which contribute to gender equality in rural areas.

WOWs Linda Törner and Jenny Bänsch together with Ulrika Landegren, president of NAT Committee at CoR. (Photo: LEADER France)
The winners got honoured from the French and European LEADER community but also from Mr Joёl Giraud, Minister of Territorial Cohesion, France and many more (Photo: LEADER France)
WOW OneGoal

General assembly in St Brieuc, France 

On the 7ht of March, many of our members met physically in French Brittany, others joined us virtually.


Join the Rural Pact together with us!

The Commission has launched the Rural Pact, the new pact aims to mobilise public authorities and stakeholders to act on the needs and aspirations of rural communities. It will provide a common framework to engage and cooperate at EU, national, regional and local level. It is important that civil society stakeholder joins the pact. 
Join the pact

LEADER seminary in Ploeuc L’Hermitage

Thanks to LEADER France, the 7-8th of March European and French LEADER community came together in the frames of the presidency of the council of Europe from France. The seminary treated the succes-story of LEADER and possibilities for the future.

We also refleced a lot on the influx of Ukrainian civilians into our society and how LAGs around Europe already can support and further steps on the chain.

More information

#LEADER30YEARS Campaign 

A total of about 100 posts were published on social media from
12 different countries. 

To immortalize all these posts, we have collected a selection of photos from the countries that have chosen to be part of the campaign and made a film.
Watch the summary


Scaling up with RUMRA: sign up for the event!

Keep your eyes open for the possibility to sign up for the event "Scaling up, Lessons learnt from LEADER and what role can public, private parternships play in rural development?"  It takes place 30th of March, 15:00 CET online!


  • Dr Manuela Rottmann, Parliamentary State Secretary in the German Agricultural Ministry (Greens)
  • Niklas Nienaß, MEP and co-chair of the RUMRA & Smart Villages Intergroup (Germany, Greens)
  • Irène Tolleret, MEP and member of the RUMRA & Smart Villages Intergroup (France, Renew Europe)
  • Maciej Golubiewski, Head of the Cabinet of EU Commissioner for Agriculture,Janusz Wojciechowski
  • Jorge Pinto Antunes, Smart Villages expert in the cabinet of EU Commissioner Wojciechowski
  • Toma Šutić, Member of the cabinet of EU Commissioner for Democracy and Demography, Vice-President Dubravka Šuica (invited)
  • Marion Eckardt, President of the European Leader Association for Rural Development (ELARD)

ELARD on Linkedin 

We have updated ELARD's page on Linkedin. Here we publish the latest news from the organization.

Feel free to join our community, so you do not miss anything!

   Upcoming Events in 2022:

  • 30th of March, "Scaling up: Lessons learnt from the LEADER funding tool and what role can public, private partnerships play in rural development?" Joint event with RUMRA & Smart villages 
  • 15-16th June, Rural Pact Conference
  • 21 – 23rd of June ,LINC, Jeseníky, Czech Republic
  • 6-8 September, Startup Olé, Salamanca, Spain
  • 12-15 September, European Rural Parliament, Kielce, Poland
  • 27-28th of October, LEADER/rural event in the frame of the Czech Presidency of the European Council

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