Finnish Leader scheme a success story

Finland is one of the most prominent countries in Europe in Leader LAG work.

In Finland, Leader local action groups (LAGs) are registered associations that develop rural areas by funding local rural development projects and supporting local enterprises. There are 56 LAGs in Finland, covering the whole country.

During the programme period 2007–2013, the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry was the first in the EU to approve the establishment of Leader local action groups, which were set up for Mainland Finland in August 2007.

This website contains information on Leader activities in Finland, project partner searches and the contact details of Finnish Leader action groups.

Promoting successful partnerships

Finland’s Leader programme promotes successful, genuine partnerships between civil society and the authorities on rural development issues to an exceptional extent. “Genuine partnerships in this context mean that those involved in managing projects do not have to beg, and the State cannot dictate,” explains Eero Uusitalo, a professor of rural studies. Read more

Leader reaching remote islands in the Åland archipelago

The village of Simskäla is located on a small island in a beautiful but remote part of the Åland archipelago. Simskäla’s 35 year-round residents included entrepreneur Mikael Lindholm, who also chaired Åland’s first Leader Local Action Group (LAG). Read more