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Paul Soto: “The current LEADER management model is running out of steam”

Jan 1, 1970 | Opinions

(08 September 2021) – Paul Soto (AEIDL) was interviewed by the Association of Rural Initiatives of Catalonia (ARCA) on the occasion of LEADER’s 30th anniversary. The expert discusses how LEADER must change to face the enormous challenges of today.

Paul Soto
© Paul Soto / Francesco Castellani

Paul Soto is the Director of Grupo Alba and former team leader of the European Fisheries Areas Network (FARNET) and the Contact Point of the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD).

In an interview published by the Association of Rural Initiatives of Catalonia (ARCA), he speaks about the origins of LEADER, where he started in 1990, and how it has evolved in the last 30 years.

For Paul, the administrative culture of LEADER does not fit with the flexibility needed to address the problems and challenges of today. That is why he advocates for a significant simplification, such as simplified costs or simpler management regulation: “a regulation made for the citizens”.

He believes that LEADER should act as a citizens’ platform that connects the public, private and civil sectors to provide tools, knowledge, dynamism and technical support projects working on the energy, urban-rural or digital transitions.

Read the interview