Michel Laine


Michel Laine has extensive experience in the field of area-based development, especially in the context of rural areas in the European Union.

After eight years in the industrial sector, where he was responsible for training and working conditions in a large American company, he joined the European Commission in 1982.

Since then, most of his work has been linked to EU social or territorial development policy, within a framework of transnational cooperation.

From 1984 to 1988, he worked on the development of EU policy for youth employment. From 1986 to 1988, he was part of a small team that set up and managed Integrated Mediterranean Programmes (IMPs). In 1989, he joined the Directorate-General for Agriculture and played a key role in the design and implementation of the LEADER rural development programme, which he coordinated and managed until 1995, with technical support and assistance from AEIDL.

He then joined the Directorate-General for Employment, where he managed the EMPLOYMENT and ADAPT Community Initiatives, and also launched EQUAL, with the aim of transferring to the social field some of the key features of LEADER (area-based, partnership, integrated strategy). From 2000 to 2012, he was in charge of different geographical units of the European Social Fund, spread over twelve EU Member States.

Michel Laine’s 32 years experience at the European Commission have greatly strengthened his appreciation of the European culture, as well as his knowledge and understanding of the diversity of national, regional and local contexts.

Since 2012, he has worked as an independent consultant (STGov – Stratégies, Territoires, Gouvernance), mostly in Italy and France, focusing mainly both on supporting local development strategies and programme evaluation (LEADER, FARNET, multi-fund strategies).

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