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A Leader+ type measure has been included in the Lithuanian Single Programming Document. It provides for: fostering creation of Local Action Groups through advisory services; training; and technical support for studies of rural areas; and development of local development strategies.

Communities of Kalvarija municipality decided to set up local action group of Kalvarija (LAG) in 2006 August 8th. At first 3 members of the Board were elected. Currently, the Board consists of 8 members from representatives from different socio-economic sectors.

LAG of Kalvarija represents the entire territory of the municipality, covering 440.4 sq. km. There is one city – Kalvarija – the municipal center, whose population does not exceed the permissible limit of LEADER program (6,000 inhabitants).

Leader+ facts

What does the acronym Leader stand for?
Leader is a French acronym, standing for ‘Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l’Économie Rurale’, meaning ‘Links between the rural economy and development actions’.

What is a Local Action Group?
Local Action Groups (LAGs) are made up of public and private partners from the rural territory, and must include representatives from different socio-economic sectors. They receive financial assistance to implement local development strategies, by awarding grants to local projects. They are selected by the managing authority of the Member State, which is either a national, regional or local, private or public body responsible for the management of the programme. For a list of LAGs in your country, you may consult the interactive map of Europe which is linked to the LAG database.

How many Local Action Groups are there in Europe?
There are a total of 893 LAGs selected under the Leader+ Community initiative among the 15 Member States of the European Union before its enlargement in 2004. To know more about Leader+ type measures in the New Member States, please refer to the question “Does Leader+ cover the New Member States of the EU?”

What are the four priority themes, and how many LAGs cover each theme?
The priority themes are set by the European Commission and are considered to be of special interest at Community level. Each development plan must be structured around one of these themes:

  • The use of know-how and new technologies to make the products and services of rural areas more competitive (11%)
  •  Improving the quality of life in rural areas (24%)
  • Adding value to local products, in particular by facilitating access to markets for small production units via collective actions (20%)
  • Making the best use of natural and cultural resources, including enhancing the value of sites of Community interest selected under Natura 2000 (34%)

Please note that in some programmes LAGs were allowed to have more than one theme, although they still had to choose a principal theme. Furthermore, additional national themes were also chosen, and themes proposed by LAGs which address specific situations in the territory were also considered by the managing authorities.