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Community-Led Local Development – the Interreg Italy-Austria case


Community-Led Local Development (CLLD) has proven to be a very powerful tool, especially in times of crisis like today. This method of bottom-up local development involves local actors in the design and delivery of strategies, decision-making processes, and resource allocation for the development of rural areas in order to address social, economic and environmental challenges. Local communities can take concrete steps towards different, smarter, and more sustainable and inclusive forms of economic development, in line with the Europe 2020 Strategy.

CLLD reflects the new ESIF policy objective of "A Europe closer to citizens", with the underlying assumption that local actors have a better knowledge of local challenges, opportunities, and resources available. Consequently, local actors can mobilise these resources for local development in a way that actors involved in a top-down approach cannot.



The Interreg Italy-Austria 2014-2020 Cooperation Programme has pioneered work in the field of local development and has a unique approach towards the implementation of CLLD. Four different CLLD regions exist in the cooperation area. These are:

  •  "Dolomiti Live": Osttirol, Pustertal, Alto Bellunese
  • "HEurOpen": Hermagor, Gemonese, Canal del Ferro e Val Canale, Carnia
  • "Terra Raetica": Landeck, Imst, Vinschgau, Engiadina Bassa
  • "Wipptal": Wipptal Tirol, Wipptal Südtirol


Each CLLD region develops its own strategy and action plan which helps the local community to get involved. The CLLD strategies are designed and implemented by cross-border Local Action Groups (LAG), composed of representatives of local public and private socio-economic interest groups. One of the key actions to achieve the objectives identified in the development strategy is the funding of small and medium sized projects, which should have a cross-border character (one beneficiary from Italy and another one from Austria). Here, Local Action Groups play a central role in setting out the selection and evaluation criteria of the projects concerned.


The added value of CLLD in the four areas identified by the Interreg Italy-Austria Programme are described in the following infographic:

added value of CLLD

The strength of the above-mentioned tool lies in the possibilities it offers to respond effectively and sustainably to the challenges of a specific territory. The integrated approach promoted by CLLD is essential to overcome, or at least alleviate, the most relevant cross-border obstacles.


More information is available here CLLD | Interreg V-A Italien – Österreich | Autonome Provinz Bozen - Südtirol

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