Estonia (like other new EU Member States, which acceded in 2004) did not implement LEADER instantly as a programme, but at first, during the pilot period (2004-2006), it was a measure of the National Development Plan (NDP). For that purpose, the measure 3.6 “Development of local initiative – LEADER-type measure” was implemented in 2006, which administration is simplified, compared to the LEADER programme, but the principles are the same.
The fourth axis of the Estonian Rural Development Plan 2007 – 2013 (RDP 2007-2013) is Leader, which is implemented through the Leader measure. General goal of the measure is to promote local initiative, facilitating the improvement of the competitiveness of agriculture and forestry through better usage of internal development possibilities of rural areas, improving the quality of life of rural areas, environment and habitat and diversifying economic activities. LEADER approach enables, through local development strategies, to generally view the goals of rural competitiveness, environment and quality of life/diversification. The approach comprising different target groups active in rural life also helps to protect local natural and cultural heritage, increase environmental awareness and invest and promote local products, tourism and renewable natural resources. Furthermore, local initiative plays an important role in connecting people with new ideas, encouraging innovation and enterprising spirit and development of local services. In 2010, there are 26 LAGs in Estonia, which comprises 99,9% of our rural areas. The tasks of Leader information centre are fulfilled by the Rural Economy Research Centre located in Jäneda. More information: http://www.maainfo.ee
last update: 29.08.2011