2021 is approaching at a rapid pace – and with that the beginning of a new programme period.
It is now time to analyse, to reflect and to become creative!

Therefore, questions that will be discussed will include the following:

What is the present state of play of CLLD, and which future policies and tendencies will affect us and how, especially in the context of the new legislative proposals by the Commission and the financial framework for post-2020? What are the strengths of multi-funded CLLD and how will local development benefit from that? How we can make it work well and simple? How can we more and better cooperate?

In this conference organised by ELARD under the 2018/19 Portuguese presidency the participants will be able to engage in a mix of discussions, analysis work and creativity, including the construction of cooperation initiatives between rural territories of the EU.

Topics to be discussed will include the new approach imposed by the smart villages concept, exchanges on how to face the demographic changes, to ensure that young people stay in or move to rural areas, and how LEADER/CLLD and LAGs can contribute to these challenges, last but not least by cooperating with each other The Portuguese LEADER groups want to discuss these topics with all the other European LEADER groups in a creative atmosphere and they also want to show their work!

But the conference will also be a moment to reflect on the experience with more than 25 years of work with the LEADER approach: When looking back to the Final Conference of the LEADER+ Community Initiative which took place on Evora in 2007, is it true that many of us in the LEADER areas happier. How did we make it work then and how did we think about our rural areas at that time?
What happened when the LEADER approach was mainstreamed? For this, the conference will make use of the outcome of the 2007-conference “LEADER achievements:  A diversity of territorial experience”, enabling us to better understand what has happened to the LEADER method since then.

The language of the conference will be English. (Interpretation from and into Portuguese will be provided in a part of the sessions.)

For “national delegations” from ELARD members we hope to be able to provide the possibility to be hosted by a Portuguese LAG a few days before and then to travel to the conference in Évora. If you are interested in such a “travelling workshop”, please let us know as soon as possible!


Online contents in progress.

Provisional Programme

26 September



Arrival of the participants, from travelling workshops hosted by Portuguese LAGs and study visits in the Alentejo region


Registration, warm-up activity and dinner with regional specialities



27 September



Welcome and Setting the scene

  • Maria João Botelho, President of ELARD and Minha Terra Federation
  • Portuguese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development
  • Local hosts
  • European Commission
  • Portuguese Member of the European Parliament
  • ENRD Contact Point

Keynote speech by Robert Lukesch, Local development expert and evaluator



Coffee break & visit of the delegation stands and exhibition area


Moderated panel discussion with participants of different countries and LEADER generations reacting on the keynote speech and the challenges provided by the perspectives post 2020




Mini-plenaries (MP) on the following topics:

  • MP 1: LEADER/CLLD advocacy and the objective of “Europe closer to citizens”
  • MP 2: LEADER/CLLD and the social & environmental challenges in rural areas
  • MP 3: LEADER/CLLD and the “Smart Villages”
  • MP 4: Evaluation of the Local Development Strategies in a results-oriented programming


Coffee break


Transnational cooperation: partner search, project ideas, match-making – interactive session


Dinner in the city of Évora



28 September



Restitution of the mini-plenaries with analysis by experts – main messages and debate with the participants


Coffee break


Closing session

  • Final comments by Robert Lukesch
  • Closing words by

Maria João Botelho, President of ELARD and Minha Terra Federation

Secretary of State for Development and Cohesion



Lunch & Departure


This conference will be held from 26 - 28 September at the Évora Hotel, located in the historic city of Évora.

Évora Hotel

Avenida Túlio Espanca

7002-502 Évora

GPS: 38.563714, -7.932772

E-mail: reservas@evorahotel.pt

Web site: http://www.evorahotel.pt/


Please, register for the conference of the Portuguese presidency of ELARD from 26th to 28th September 2018 in Évora, Portugal. The conference will include the facilitation of partner search for transnational cooperation and will be preceded by travelling workshops in Portuguese LAG areas.

Confirm your participation by filling out the registration form by the 31st August!


This conference will be held from 26-28 September at the Évora Hotel, located in the historic city of Évora.

MINHA TERRA - Federação Portuguesa de Associações de Desenvolvimento Local