LEADER+ is a structural programme for rural development with a budget of Euro 2.02 million for 2000-2006 (Euro 276 million under the Community Budget for the year 2000). In its motion for a Resolution, the European Parliament expresses "doubts" about the adequacy of the planned financing in view of the extension of the programme to the whole of the European Union, with a programming period increased from six to seven years. The Parliamentary Committee proposes therefore that the LEADER+ programme be applied "consistently throughout the Member States, using rigorous selection procedures, so that there is no squandering of financing with the area" and calls upon the Commission and national and regional authorities to make their own accounting procedures known, to simplify financial management. The rapporteur recommends that Local Action Groups (GAL - comprising all the different recipients of funding) should be eligible to receive technical assistance for the devising of projects and that they should be informed of the best practices and innovative measures carried out under the LEADER I and LEADER II programmes. The Parliament also wants the Commission to submit as soon as possible an evaluation report on LEADER II and also to inform it of any conclusions and implications relevant to the LEADER+ programme.--The Community's LEADER programme (Rural Economy Development Action Network) was launched in 1991 in order to promote a...

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