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Abstract

The LEADER programme has been used for more than 20 years in the EU. Our paper examines 3 local action groups situated in the Hungarian Békés County. The objective of the paper is to examine them from an organizational/ institutional point of view. It is assumed that work organizations play a crucial role in the life of LAGs, and get an answer whether capabilities and territorial ties of their members have an effect on the existence and functioning of action groups. Moreover, personal interviews were made with administrative staff. Statistical data were collected from the website and integrated rural development strategies of LAGs and from the open database of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office These data were later used to prepare maps illustrating them. Hoover-index was used by the authors to conduct statistical calculations. The research findings suggest that the quality of local management organizations is of great importance to successfully strengthen local communities and governance. A local staff of adequate quantity and quality (education, salary) is indispensable. The geographical position and attachment of LAGs is a relevant factor in bottom-up rural development. Maybe, an EU-wide directive in this area can contribute to a more successful LEADER approach. The reseach results may help to improve the performance of the LEADER LAGs at a national or even the EU level.

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