Local Development Strategies in the EU
The case of leader in rural development
The concept of “governance” has become over the last years more and more important in the European context, as evidenced by the European Commission’s White Paper on European Governance (CEC, 2001). Furthermore, the European Commission designed particular programmes and initiatives to promote “good governance” in third countries (see, for example, CEC, 2004a).
Governance describes a process of decision-making by which decisions are implemented. Therefore, attention is paid to formal and informal actors involved in the decision-making and implementation processes. Governance may be defined as “a flexible pattern of public decision-making based on loose networks of individuals in key public, para-public and private bodies at various territorial levels” (Borraz and John, 2004: 112). Governance is not synonymous with government. Governance is about how governments and other social organisations interact, how they relate to citizens and how decisions are taken in a complex world (Graham et al, 2003).