Entry to this Pre-Congress Symposium is free of charge because it’s a sponsored event

A coffee break and a light lunch will be provided


GAL Del Ducato
LEADER Programme

Rationale and Background

Agriculture and rural development represent a key sector for the sustainable economic development of the European Union, and one of its most important policies

In order to support the development of rural areas, the LEADER Programme was created, 25 years ago. It is implemented under the national and regional Rural Development Program of each EU member State, and co-financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)

The LEADER approach presented, since the beginning, a strongly innovative methodology, providing rural communities with the possibility to involve local partners in the elaboration of their own development strategies, targeted to the needs of their territories, through a participated process

The method is managed by Local Action Groups (LAG), the organizations provided by the European Union Regulation responsible for the local management of rural development programs and related resources. Each Local Action Group is composed by public-private partnerships from rural territories, including representatives from different socio-economic sectors. LAGs main aim is to promote the integrated growth of the territory in which it operates, through the elaboration of a participated Local Development Strategy, with the involvement of local communities, based on the characteristics and needs of the targeted territories. The strategy is implemented through a Local Action Plan, and the LAG stimulate the capacity of local actors to develop projects, offering the possibility to award grants to fund them

This participatory method has been widely diffused and recognized all over Europe (actually there are more than 2000 LAGs), and also adapted in other contexts. For this wider application the term “Community-Led Local Development” (CLLD) is now widely used, but LEADER, with its clear reference to rural areas, will continue to be used for CLLD under the EAFRD. This method played a key role especially in these last years, as rural areas have been particularly affected by consequences of the economic crisis, respect to main city centre

Nevertheless, during the years, what initially represented an extraordinary innovation has lost a part of its creative potential, also due to regulation procedures

The Pre-Congress Symposium is therefore aimed at presenting the evolution of the LEADER Program in these 25 years and the important role that LAGs can play to support the development of rural areas all over Europe, as well as stimulate a discussion offering a vision for its future, for the next programming period

The Symposium will foresee presentations from relevant national and local institutions, followed by a Round-Table featuring representatives of LAGs from different European countries

Simultaneous translation service will be provided.

Please confirm your registration writing to: animazione@galdelducato.it

Preliminary Agenda



9.00 Participants Registration

Opening Session

  • Marco Crotti, President of DUCATO LAG
  • Alessandra Pesce, Technical Secretariat of Vice Minister Andrea Olivero, Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies
  • Filippo Arfini, Full Professor in Economics and Management of Agri-Food Networks, University of Parma

25 years of Leader Programme: the role of LAGs in supporting rural areas

10.30 Coffee Break

The LAGs experience in Europe: Round Table

    Moderator: Carlo Ricci, rural development expert


  • Petri Rinne, Director of Joutsenten Reitti LAG– Finland, President of the Finnish LEADER Network SYTY, former President of ELARD
  • Bart Soldaat, Coordinator of Holland Rijnland LAG – Holland, Former Secretary of the Groupe de Bruges
  • Catalin Frangulea Pastor, Coordinator of Tinutul Barsei LAG – Romania, Coordinator of rural development programmes of Brasov Metropolitan Agency
  • Giovanni Pattoneri, Director of Ducato LAG – Italy
12.00 Debate


  • Simona Caselli, Regional Minister for agriculture, hunting and fishing, Emilia-Romagna Region
12.30 Buffet Lunch