ELARD Belgium


The European LEADER Association for Rural Development (ELARD) is an international non-profit making association that was established in 1999 by the National LEADER Networks of different EU Member States. The initial founder members are listed below:

  1. French Network for Rural Development
  2. Greek Network for Rural Development
  3. Irish Network for Rural Development
  4. Italian Network for Rural Development
  5. Spanish Network for Rural Development.

In the 2000-2006 programming period about 950 rural areas across the 15 Member States operated the LEADER+ Community Initiative, thus opening up access to a vast network of information and other resources. Around half of those European LAGs are already members of ELARD by means of their national or regional networks and through them a vast number of public, private and voluntary local partners and stakeholders are involved in active rural development at community level. Today ELARD represents more than 450 Local Action Groups (LAGs) that manage the LEADER+ Community Initiative and/or National Programmes for Rural Development, as well as other programmes or initiatives not related directly with rural development (i.e. INTERREG, EQUAL, URBAN, etc.).

ELARD aims to support rural and regional development under LEADER philosophy, to promote experience sharing through its members and partners, and to promote networking and cooperation through transnational projects. Furthermore, after the 2004 and 2007 EU enlargements, ELARD has been making efforts to provide the newly established rural networks in the new member states with valuable information and support.

Av. d' Auderghem 59 (bt 3), 1040 Brussels-Belgium

Telephone & Fax : 0032 (0) 2 230 13 53,

e-mail: elard@elard.eu

Project Managers are:

Mr. Panagiotis Patras - President of ELARD : patras@ruralthessaly.gr

Mr. Stefanos Loukopoulos - Coordination & Communications Officer :  stefanos.loukopoulos@elard.eu

Ms. Valentina Sorbi - EU project consultant and communication expert: valentina.sorbi@elard.eu