Promoting Regional Funding: How to Maximise the Use for our Rural Regions

RUMRA & Smart Villages Intergroup in the EP and EU40 – the network of young MEPs are organising a one-hour roundtable expert debate on Wednesday June 2, 2021 at 14:00, via Zoom

For more details and to register, please click here.


How can we tap the full potential of the variety of our Investment and Structural Funds and simultaneously trigger more citizens participation and locally driven funding? 

The second pillar of the CAP, the EAFRD, is the “pioneer” in this respect: Here, the so called LEADER-approach allows funding which is decided from local action groups (LAGs), who are able to decide for their respective region on projects, project applications and ultimately also on the funding. They receive the funding directly, no matter whether they use it to build a football pitch or a school – depending on what they consider to be necessary. 

In addition, the EAFRD finances a European rural development network (ENRD, whose purpose it is to bring together national networks and national organisations and administrations involved in rural development within the EU) and the EIP network, which enables farmers and researchers to get in touch and exchange knowledge. 

In order to further strengthen the favoured bottom-up approach in regional and structural funding, the EC has developed the Community-led local development (CLLD) system, which is similar to the EARDFs approach of LEADER It turns traditional “top down” development policy within the structural funds (like ERDF and ESF+) on its head. Under CLLDlocal people take the reins and form a local partnership. Again, local actions groups can decide about funding in their own region. This allows support for people and communities where it is really needed. CLLD was already possible in the funding period 2014-2020 under the Common Provisions Regulation. Now, funding implemented via CLLD allows a higher financial EU-support: Those projects which are developed and decided by LAGs will get 10% more EU-money.  

At this round-table, we would like to debate how CLLD can be implemented in more funding mechanisms and regions, thereby also giving the regions an additional 10% co-funding advantage. What potential does CLLD have and how can it be promoted more, in order to increase acceptance?


Niklas Nienaß, MEP (moderator)

Peter Toth, ENRD contact point

Radim Sršeň, First Chair of the CoR NAT Commission;

Iwona Lisztwan, Policy Coordinator LEADER at DG AGRI;

Eleftherios Stavropoulos, CLLD funding expert at DG REGIO;

Alina Cunk Perklič, CLLD/LEADER and Smart Villages expert at the Ministry of Agriculture of Slovenia;

Marion Eckardt, Director of ELARD;

Olaf Pommeranz, Regional Manager for LEADER & FIWIG at LAG Güstrower Landkreis / LAG Ostsee-DBR