For this Leader special, the authors working for the Rural Areas Network have interviewed three country experts about the meaning of LEADER for the country policy.

According to Ali Edelenbosch, things are going well in the north of the Netherlands. ‘There are quite a few differences among and within the provinces, but the developments in agriculture are favourable: the land prices are holding up, prices within the sector keep rising, and there are opportunities for producing biomass as a source of energy. This will create new dynamics in the countryside.’

Rural land for living
Dirk Strijker: ‘Those dynamics do not show up in all areas. On the clay grounds along the coast of the Wadden Sea, if not used for recreation or harbour activities, the situation is not as rosy. But most other parts are doing well: villages are building new residential zones, local authorities are concerned with conservation issues, businesses are moving to the area, and …

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