The LEADER is a Community Initiative Program (CIP) – established by the Community Regulation 1260/99 for the Structural Funds – today come to its third edition under the name of “Leader Plus”.
The aim of LEADER Plus, common to that of Leader II and Leader, is to promote integrated, endogenous and sustainable development of rural areas.
The European Commission has introduced the general guidelines established in the LEADER Plus programme by the Communication of 14th April 2000 C 139/05.
LEADER Plus is divided into three main Axes:
- Axis I “Strategies and Support of rural development related to the Territory and based on a rising action and on horizontal partnership”
- Axis II “Support to the cooperation between rural territories”
- Axis III “Creation of a network”
With exclusive reference to Axes I and II, LEADER Plus is executed following the submission of the 2000-2006 Local Development Plans of the GAL to the Region or Member State.
The implementation of the measures included in Axis III is made through a proposal from the member State to the European Commission.
Sicily Region worked out the LEADER Regional Programme (LRP) for the years 2000-2006, then approved by the European Commission by Resolution C 249 of 19th February 2003.
The Regional Council adopted the Supplement of Programming by Resolution N. 207 of 17th July 2003 (communicated by Decree of the President of Sicily Region N. 5 of 29th July 2003). The Supplement was published on the Official Journal of Sicily Region N. 45 of 17th October 2003.
In the Supplement of Programming, paragraph 1.2, the recipients of the community initiative are defined alongside their legal administrative characteristics. In particular, it is stated that “the recipients of the contribution from LRP will be a group of partners called Local Action Groups”, responsible for developing and then implementing the development strategy. It is also stated that the GAL, as balanced symbol of partners from different economic and social fields of the territory, can create any organization with or without legal personality, and that this will influence both the characteristics of the decision-making level and the administration of public funding. In the Leader RP, the responsibilities of GALs are established (Paragraph 9.7). By Decree of the General Manager N. 825 of 13th July 2004, the list of the acceptable Local Development Plans, which includes Eloro Development Plan, is approved.