Rural development

The Directorate of Rural Development contributes to the development of rural areas in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg through two main instruments: village development and the European LEADER Initiative.

Village development

At the end of the 1980s, the European Union declared rural development to be one of its priorities. In 1989, the Ministry of Agriculture began supporting the rural regions of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg through rural development programmes. The aim was to bridge the development gap and existing inequalities between rural and urban areas, and to combat the rural exodus. Through a wide range of aid measures, the Ministry of Agriculture has helped to improve the supply of basic services and to diversify the local economy, thereby improving the quality of life in the target regions.

Today, despite the boom and popularity generally enjoyed by rural areas, the development process is not yet complete. On the contrary, the Ministry of Agriculture has drawn up a new aid programme, entitled "Village Development", which responds to current challenges.

Particular emphasis is placed on social cohesion, maintaining community life in the villages and involving citizens in the development of community projects. The Ministry is also guaranteeing its support in the areas of continuing education, agricultural diversification, tourism development and the local economy. Once again, great importance is attached to preserving the natural and cultural heritage. Finally, the LEADER offices have been assigned project managers who will help to promote the new aid scheme, encourage new projects, support public participation and liven up village life.


"Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l'Economie Rurale" ("Links between Actions for the Development of the Rural Economy") (LEADER) is an EU initiative aimed at creating links between projects relating to, and stakeholders involved in, the economic aspects of the rural environment. Thus, its objective is to mobilise the inhabitants of rural areas and to help them to bring their ideas to fruition and experiment with new methods.

The LEADER beneficiaries are the Local Action Groups (LAGs), within which public partners (municipalities) collaborate with private partners coming from the different socio-economic sectors. Pursuing a bottom-up approach, the LAGs are responsible for drawing up and implementing local development strategies.

Since its introduction in Luxembourg in 1991, LEADER has become a key integral part of the regional and national rural development policy. Nearly 590 innovative projects have been carried through thanks to LEADER. Numerous inhabitants of rural areas have been involved in LEADER projects and have reaped the benefits of those actions.

In addition, LEADER provides support for the population and the economy, creates jobs, enlivens cultural and social life, stimulates the exploitation of potential in all its forms, encourages people to unite in action, brings together those who are committed to the various actions, enables innovative ideas to see the light of day and creates contacts between citizens throughout Europe.

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