ELARD’s resolution LEADER and CLLD within European policies post 2027

On 18 December 2023 the European Leader Congress was held in Brussels, Belgium. At this conference, the 800 delegates from 38 countries representing about 2600 LEADER Local Action Groups in and beyond Europe, rural networks, representatives of managing authorities, the Committee of the Regions, the European Commission, the European Parliament and of the European Economic and Social Committee met and discussed the Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas and rural development policies as regards to the role of LEADER/CLLD (Community-Led Local Development). The following conclusions were developed for the future of LEADER/CLLD.

English       – Brussels Declaration
Bulgarian   – Декларация от Брюксел
Croatian    –  Deklaracija iz Brisela
French        –  Déclaration de Bruxelles
Português  – Declaração de Bruxelas 

Contribution of European rural areas to the European Commission´s 8th Cohesion Report

This contribution is inspired by the Halmstad Declaration of 2 December 2021 during the “LEADER 30 years
Celebration” conference organised by ELARD and by the LEADER European seminar, an event organised by Leader
France in the framework of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, held in Ploeuc-L’Hermitage on
7 March 2022.

Contribution of rural areas to the European Commission´s 8th Cohesion Report – EN

Solidarity declaration for the people of Ukraine

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 offer our solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

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

English – with all signatures


Austria – unterstützung der vom aktuellen konflikt in der Ukraine betroffenen zivilbevölkerung

Bulgaria – в подкрепа на цивилното населенеие, засегнато от настоящия конфликт в украйна

Croatian – Podrška civilima pogođenim ratom u Ukrajini

English – Solidarity declaration for the people of Ukraine

Estonia – Ukraina konfliktist ohustatud inimeste toetuseks

Finland – Tuemme Ukrainan konfliktista kärsivää siviiliväestöä

France – en soutien aux civils touchés par le conflit actuel en Ukraine

Germany –  Nterstützung der vom aktuellen konflikt in der Ukraine betroffenen zivilbevölkerung

Italy – English version with Italian signature

Portugal – em apoio aos civis afetados pelo atual conflito na Ucrânia

Slovak – Podpora civilistom ohrozeným súčasným konfliktom na ukrajine

Slovenia – v podporo civilistom prizadetim zaradi konflikta v ukrajini

Sweden – Solidaritets deklaration

Ukraine – на підтримку мирних жителів, постраждалих від конфлікту в україні

Halmstad Declaration

At the 30-years LEADER-event, the conclusions for Halmstad declaration were first drafted. We now have 10 conclusions on “turning rural development into action” and ten ideas on “using the opportunities for LEADER/CLLD” that we share to shape a better future for all of us.

Apart from being a conference on the Long Term Vision of Rural Areas and the future of LEADER, it was also an event in the frame of the Conference on the Future of Europe. The conclusions of the event are therefore also published at the Conference of The Future of Europe.

English – Halmstad Declaration

Svensk – Halmstad Deklaration

French – Déclaration Halmstad

Portuguese – Declaração de Halmstad

Bulgarian – Декларация от Халмстад

Croatian – Deklaracija iz Halmstada


Europe day greetings ELARD 2021

Rural Semester as a tool to deliver a truly holistic policy for rural areas,

from Marjorie JOUEN, Jacques Delors Institute. (Benefitted from inputs and reflections of Marion Eckardt, Maria José Murciano-Sanchez, MichaelSchmitz, Francesco Mantino, Hans Martin Lorenzen, expressing themselves on their personal capacity)

The voice of rural Europe for the future of Europe (2020).

On 9th of May 2020, Day of Europe, the members of ELARD are sharing their opinion on how CLLD can assist in the recovery work of Europe now and in future programmes. ELARD has been facing this crisis with the firm belief that we are stronger together. No rural area should be left behind, and we are positively working as a team, keeping the spirit of a unified Europe prominent.

(Also available in: Español, Português, Svenska)

Renewing LEADER/CLLD for 2021-2027 programming period (2019)

ELARD updated its positions regarding the next programming period of LEADER/CLLD, approved by the ELARD General Assembly in Brussels on 10th April 2019.

The Tartu Declaration (2016)

(Available also in CroatianEstonianGermanFrenchLatvianLithuanianPortugueseSpanish)
During the ELARD conference 2016 and with the contributions of several LAG networks ELARD developed this declaration directed at the European institutions.


Positions from ELARD’s Member Networks

MANIFESTO of the 1st Rural Parliament of Kosovo

This is a joint statement on the ambitions, commitments and demands of the rural community, adopted by the representative of the rural community of Kosovo.

Position paper “Europe needs LEADER” (2018)
In this paper the German national LEADER association BAG LAG summarizes its main messages regarding LEADER for the next programming period.


SEE LEADER Conclusions (2019)

Conclusions from the SEE LEADER Conference 2019. For more information, please visit: SEE LEADER.

European Committee of the Regions

The CoR’s contribution to the renewed Territorial Agenda, with special emphasis on community-led local development (2019)
In this document the CoR outlines policy recommendations for regional development with the aim to increase the influence of regions and local authorities in Europe.
The opinion is also available in the following languages: [BG] [CS] [DA] [DE] [EL] [ES] [ET] [FI] [FR] [HR] [HU] [IT] [LT] [LV] [MT] [NL] [PL] [PT] [RO] [SK] [SL] [SV]

European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

Advantages of the CLLD approach (2017) (different languages available)
The EESC assessed the potential of CLLD to contribute to the aims of the EU and formulated proposals for the next programming period.

European Commission

The Future of Food and Farming (2017)
The European Commission analysed the current situation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which includes the LEADER programme. The proposal aims to match more closely citizens’ needs and European challenges.Cork 2.0 Declaration (2016) and Cork 2.0 Action Plan (2017)
The participants of the European Conference on Rural Development in Cork, Ireland formulated these orientations for a rural policy in the EU.

This is the final document of a Seminar organised by DG AGRI and the ENRD in Båstad, Sweden. More material about the seminar can be found here.

European Rural Parliament

European Rural Manifesto (2017)
(This is the update of the message from 2017) This is the statement of the aspirations, commitments and demands of the European Rural Parliament campaigns from 2015 to 2017.

The Venhorst Declaration (2017)
The participants of the 3rd European Rural Parliament formulated this declaration as advice on how to assure the well-being of all rural communities throughout the wider Europe and as contribution to the discussion about the next programming period in the EU.

Our message to the European Institutions, Governments and Rural Citizens of Europe (2017) – long version– short Version
This Message is the outcome of widespread consultation among rural communities throughout Europe and debate at the 3rd European Rural Parliament held in 2017 about the future policies in the EU.

European Countryside Movement

MER - final(1)

Building on the resilience of rural territories in the post-Covid-19 period (2020)
The organisations of the European Countryside Movement stress the importance of rural territories for the recovery, and await the
establishment of a European Rural Agenda and give reccommendations in this position.

A significant step closer towards a European Rural Agenda (2018)
The European Countryside Movement welcomes the adoption, by the European Parliament, of the “Rural European Agenda” – a resolution in favour of rural territories, which focused on their challenges and concluded as to the necessity to adopt a strategic and an operational framework.