LEADER (acronym for "Liaison entre Actions de Développement de l'Economie Rurale" - Connection between rural economy development initiatives) is a programme promoted and funded by the European Union for the development of rural areas.
It is implemented at a local level by public-private partnerships - Local Action Groups (LAG) - through Local Development Plans (LDP) based on the specific needs of individual local areas and their economic and social operators.
LEADER supports integrated development projects that focus on local resources and give expression to local needs through a bottom-up process, and promotes the use of innovative methodologies and cooperation initiatives between different European areas.
The cooperation project "Routes of Europe: European network of history, culture and tourism" is sponsored by the LEADER programme for the development of a national network of historical-cultural and pilgrimage routes and its objectives are:
- Increasing the competitive capacity and development opportunities of the rural areas included in the routes
- Expand and strengthen the capacity for collaboration and cooperation between the people and areas in the "Routes of Europe" network, to establish a stable, solid and structured partnership
- Innovate and improve network resources and promote and market the tourism products arising from the cooperation.
- Promote the characteristic assets of the local partners (enogastronomy, local traditions, etc.)