Rural Policy in Estonia: The Leader Approach and the Concentration of Power

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Vivia Aunapuu-Lents


The aim of this paper is to find out whether the Leader approach has an influence on the concentration of power at the local level (in this case the level of local municipalities) in Estonian rural areas. This paper elaborates on two potential sources of this concentration of power: the violation of set rules and some hidden mechanisms. Set rules are being analysed through the share of local municipalities among the membership of the local action group, on the board and according to the minutes of the board meetings. Hidden mechanisms are being analysed through the amount of funding given to own members and the political background of the board members. Mainly based on quantitative analyses centred on the analysis of documentation the paper concludes that the concentration of power at the level of local municipalities in Estonia does not seem to be caused by the violation of set rules or grants given to local municipalities.


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