The goal of the LEADER method for 2007-2013 is to support rural development. The key measures of such development are local initiative and partnership. Eligible applicants for the programme are Local Action Groups (LAGs) with its structure that consists of no less that 50% of non-profit organisations, up to 25% of the public sector and 25% of the private sector.
For the period of 2007-2013, the EU member states have obtained the right to choose rural development means for implementing LEADER method by themselves. Lithuania has chosen to realize the method by such Axis IV measures as “Diversification of agricultural activities”, “Support for establishment and development of business”, “Stimulation of rural tourism”, “Rural heritage preservation and modernization: crafts development”, “Countryside renewal and development".
Support for implementation of local development strategy designed by LAGs will be 2,5 mln. Euros. Presumable support for 1 local project is up to 200 thousand Euros while support for international project is unlimited. For the implementation of Local development strategies almost 93% of total financial support is assigned while Interterritorial and transnational cooperation projects are given 3,1% of total financial resources and for Stimulation of residents’ activities in LAGs territories - 4,3% of total funding.
LEADER it is expecting to play a valuable role in encouraging innovative approaches regarding development of rural areas. Such approaches are boosted by involving LAGs so they could have freedom in making decisions about actions and projects they want to implement. It is supposed that LAGs understand difficult problems in rural areas better so they can discover solutions of higher quality. Innovation is very important in addressing rural population decline. So, it is expected that LAGs, as having opportunities to look at the problems from inside, could find interesting solutions by realizing projects with original positions.