The concept of sustainable development is currently one of the most important concepts in the world. The implementation of the global idea is in the hands of local communities. The success of LA21 initiatives largely depends on two important factors: the bottom-up initiatives of the community based on voluntary participation and the support from the national government. In the case of Hungary we examine central government initiatives to date, as well as the factors that determine the success of bottom-up initiatives. As an illustration we present some of the findings of a survey we conducted in the micro-region of Gyöngyös.