chapter  10
11 Pages

Tourism in peripheral regions

Discovering the hidden histories of Italy
WithR. Grumo, A. Ivona

The European Community LEADER Initiative (Liaisons Entre Actions de De´veloppement de l’Economie Rural) has undergone three phases: LEADER I (1991-1994), LEADER II (1994-1999) and the ongoing LEADERþ (2000-2006), the aim of which is to further develop the method adopted in the previous programmes through pilot strategies and catalysing themes (GU, 1991, 1994, 2000). The territorial innovation elements identified are different in the experience of areas involved. Starting from the way the LEADER Initiative has been set out, its basis is the creation of a Local Action Group (LAG), an organisation of

■ Puglia

Progetto Bandiere Arancioni

Iniziativa LEADER+

local components, whose task is to define and put into action a Local Action Plan (LAP). This involves selected actions by both private and public bodies. The Initiative itself could include multi-sectorial actions consisting of attempts to achieve the integration of production and service activities, the decentralisation of financing from the European Commission, to the Member States and the Regions, the realisation of a connected network of the areas involved, and the introduction of forms of exchange between the rural and urban environment. The elements of integration and transfer, launched at the Cork Conference in

1996, have been implemented through this Initiative, which emphasises that policies for rural development should focus on an integrated approach involving the development of agriculture, economic diversification, management of natural resources, promotion of culture, tourism and recreational activities (AEIDL, 1997). The LEADER I was carried out in 217 territorial areas of the European Union defined as in Objective I (less-favoured) and Objective 5b (rural) regions (AEIDL, 1997-1998). The LEADER II covered a greater area and involved 1,000 localities. It provided stronger support for aspects concerning trans-national cooperation, networking and innovation (INEA, 1994; AEIDL, 1999). Moreover the various elements of an area, whether material or immaterial, are at the heart of the LEADER þ approach (2000-2006). The attempt to promote and develop the marginal areas follows a general

outward-looking trend and starts from a consideration of local interests, whereby consent among the local population is created so that they have a stake in becoming directly involved (LEADER European Observatory, 2001). In Apulia, the LEADER þ concerns 14 Local Action Groups (LAG), throughout the region (Ministry for Agriculture and Forests, 2000).1