In Finland, Leader Local Action Groups (LAGs) are registered associations that develop rural areas by funding local rural development projects and supporting local enterprises. There are 55 LAGs in Mainland Finland and one in the Åland Islands.
LAGs’ activities have a strong local focus. They strive to develop the countryside through initiatives taken by local people. In addition to funding from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), LAGs can also obtain funds from Finnish regional development programmes or EU Structural Funds programmes.
Finland’s Leader LAGs apply all of the same key principles followed in Leader work around Europe, including the “bottom up” principle, the drafting of local development plans, direct and trusting collaboration and work-sharing between the public and private sectors, openness and transparency, and innovativeness and networking.
In the context of Leader activities in Finland, one of the main priorities of the Rural Development Programme for Mainland Finland 2007-2013 is to network and create cooperation between different actors, also at the international level. The resultant networks will be used to disseminate innovative solutions and know-how, so as to improve the competitiveness of rural actors. During the current programme period the aim is to implement some 300 transnational cooperation projects.
Ms. Sanna Sihvola, Senior Officer
Tel.+358 (0)9 160 52895, +358 40 586 0051
Email: forename.surname(at)mmm.fi [sanna.sihvola]
Ms. Leena Anttila, Senior Officer
Tel.+358 (0)9 160 53404, +358 40 180 6522
Email: forename.surname(at)mmm.fi [leena.anttila]