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Local residents and EU funds as drivers of development in towns and villages

Ministry of Agriculture and ForestryMinistry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 5.10.2018 15.30 | Published in English on 10.10.2018 at 15.55
News item

The aim of the innovation camp on community-led local development was to plan how resources from EU funds and local communities could be used to develop towns and villages.

The camp in Ellivuori in Sastamala on 2–3 October brought together about 50 local developers and experts from different parts of Finland. The participants reflected on how the best use could be made of different EU funds and programmes to serve the needs of the communities in all parts of the country.


Stepping stones were also decided to make concrete progress. Nationally, the discussion will continue in the joint working group on urban and rural policy, and the ideas created in the camp will be used when preparing for the new EU programming period.


“There are opportunities in abundance and enormous hidden power in local communities. Each and every one of us can promote the wellbeing of communities close to us. The focus should be on respect, challenging old interpretations, dialogue, and genuine desire to understand each other”, says Olli Toivonen, one of the participants from the City of Lahti.


At the heart of community-led local development is the idea that the local residents know best how their home regions should be developed. Within the European Union community-led local development (CLLD) means a methodology where the power and responsibility for development actions rests with the local people.


In the rural areas this methodology is already well known through the LEADER approach. Now the aim is to introduce this methodology to urban areas as well.


Preparations for the camp since last summer included discussions on an online platform and in social media. Two virtual camps were held to learn about the topic, including presentations on changes in the form and content of communities by Researcher specialised in urban activism Pasi Mäenpää and Futures Designer Elisa Lukin.


The material collected in this futures process is freely available online.


The camp was organised by the joint urban and rural policy working group on community-led local development together with the Rural Policy Network, town of Sastamala and other cooperation partners. The work was facilitated by Seija Kiiskilä from Futures Garden, Tiina Häkkinen from 10times and Pauliina Mäkelä from Kinda.






  • Jarmo Palm, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 2950 48064
  • Laura Jänis, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, tel. +358 2951 62090
EU and international affairs Rural areas