Local action group (LAG) is a new form of public-private partnership in rural Bulgaria. It is called to mobilize local communities and make it empathetic with the problems of rural development.

         The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the process of setting up local action groups LAG in Bulgaria and based on the analysis of the problems of their operation, to develop guidelines and recommendations for improving implementation of LEADER approach.

                The paper includes an assessment of the process of creating LAG and presents the results of the study of problems of their operation in different regions of Bulgaria. The study used questionnaire method, structured interviews, strategies and other documents. The conclusions and proposals are derived based on the evaluation of information for 14 LAG on the territory of 21 municipalities in different regions of Bulgaria.

Full text: PDF


LEADER approach, LAG, rural regions

JEL Codes



Annual report for completion of program for rural regions development (2007-2013г.) in Bulgaria for the period 1 January 2010 – 31 December 2010.

Biderman A., Kazior B, Serafin R., Szmigielski P., 2004. Building partnership. A practical manual. Polish Environmental Partnership Foundation, Kraków.

Chevalier P., Maurel C., 2010. Policy Transfer of the Local Development Model. The Leader Program Implementation in Central European countries, Regional Studies Assotiation Annual International Conference, Pécs, Hungary, 24th -26th May 2010.

Dargan L., Shucksmith M., 2008. LEADER and innovation, Sociologia Ruralis 48, p. 271–294.

Doitchinova J., Kanchev I., 2011. Approach LEADER in rural areas in Bulgaria – first lessons from the establishment of local action groups, Trakia journal of sciences, Vol.9, S.2.

European Commission, 2007. Best practices LEADER + 8/2008, In: Dower M., Budzich-Szukala U., PREPARE: Its Role for becoming stronger of networks in rural regions.

European Commission, 2007. Best practices LEADER + 2/2008.

European Commission, 2007. Best practices LEADER + 3/2008.

European Commission, 2007. Best practices LEADER + 9/2008, In: Dubost, M., Building the territory.

European Commission, 2007. Best practices LEADER + 4/2009.

European agricultural fund for rural development, 2011. Annual Report.

Furmankiewicz M., Enhancing endogenous development in rural areas. The implementation of LEADER pilot programme in Poland, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences.

Gorton M., Hubbard C., Hubbard L., 2009.The folly of European Union Policy Transfer: Why the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Does not fit Central and Eastern Europe,Regional Studies, 43: 10, p.1305-1317.

Kajer A.M., 2004. Governance, Policy Press, Cambridge.

Kołomycew А., Local Action Groups as an Example of Sectoral Partnerships at the Local Level.

Maurel C., 2008. Local Development Stakeholders and the European Model. Learning the LEADER Approach in the New Member States, Czech Sociological Review, Vol. 44, No. 3.

Мiteva А., 2010. The LEADER approach – opportunity for integrated development of rural regions, Conference of Varna Economic University.

Ministry of Agriculture and Food, 2007. Program for rural regions development 2007-2013.

Ministry of Agriculture and Food, 2010. Action plan of National Rural Network 2009-2013.

OECD, 1990. Local Partnerships for Rural Development, p.18.

Project No 28/2009,2009. Possibilities of LEADER approach for development of viable rural areas and protection of natural recourses, University of National and World Economy, Sofia.

Shortall S., Shucksmith M., 1998. Integrated rural development: Issues arising from the Scottish experience. European Planning Studies, 6, n° 1, p. 73-88.

Stoyanova Z., 2011. Local action groups – problems, possibilities, perspectives, pub. ATL-50, Sofia.