Local Action Groups (LAGs) are the mainstay of the implementation of the LEADER approach. Their responsibilities include the development of local strategies, supporting stakeholder networking and the appraisal and approval of individual LEADER projects.
LAGs are effective in stimulating sustainable development because they:
aggregate and combine available human and financial resources from the public sector, the private sector, the civic and voluntary sectors;
associate local players around collective projects and multi-sectoral actions, in order to achieve synergies, joint ownership, and the critical mass needed to improve the area’s economic competitiveness;
strengthen the dialogue and cooperation between different rural actors, who often have little experience in working together, by reducing potential conflict and facilitating negotiated solutions through consultation and discussion;
facilitate, through the interaction between different partners, the processes of adaptation and change in the agricultural sector (for example, quality products, food chains), the integration of environmental concerns, the diversification of the rural economy and quality of life.