Leader in Estonia
The LEADER programme in Estonia started in 2006. The Estonian Rural Development Plan 2007-2013 LEADER
measure implemented 7,186 projects, and used LEADER budget of 85,759,063 euros, of which only 0.9% remained unused.
80% of the LEADER measure budget is allocated for project support applicants (for the implementation of the strategy) and maximum of 20% of the budget goes towards administrative costs of local action groups (support rate 100%).
The budget of LEADER in Estonian Rural Development Plan 2014-2020 is 90 million euros, 10% of RDP budget is allocated for the LEADER measure.
There are 26 LEADER local action groups in Estonia, the Estonian LEADER programme uses only EAFRD (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development) funding, Fisheries LAGs (8 groups) operate separately.
99.99% of the Estonian rural area is covered by LEADER LAGs, the total number of inhabitants in LEADER areas is 504,363 and the area is 42,827 km². The membership of Estonian LAGs is more than 1,500 (public sector comprising 13%, entrepreneurs 37% and NGOs 37%), there are on average has 60 members per LAG.
Established on 19th March 2012, the Estonian LEADER Union currently has 20 Estonian LAGs as members. Most of the activities are based on thematic working groups (e.g. communication, legislation, CLLD 2020+, membership, etc) that bring together representatives from all member LAGs.
To achieve our aims, the Estonian LEADER Union:
- represents and protects members’ common interests in national institutions, community groups, and international organisations;
- takes part in national and international discussions of rural areas;
- represents members’ interests as a social partner in drawing laws and regulations concerning LEADER programme activities;
- supports members’ cooperation and creates cooperation opportunities;
- organises training and networking activities for members;
- arranges legal aid and advises on legal issues;
- takes part in projects and cooperation networks that support international, national, regional and local levels.