This paper provides a comparative analysis of the two LEADER-Regions LAG Steirische Eisenstraße and LAG Südsteiermark in the context of regional development in rural areas. The raised questions are about the presentation of the genesis of regional development as research in Austria, in combination with discussion of the European Structural Funds, particular focus is given to the Leader-Program. This is the presentation of a structural analysis of the topics including population, economy and infrastructure of the respective regions. This structural analysis corresponds together with the subsequent analysis of LAG and develops the core targets of this work. There will be three successive components; Leader+, Leader++ and Leader 14-20 showing the development of the formulated Local Development Strategies and Development Goals. It is made clear that the regions in terms of population growth, infrastructural facilities and economic structure significantly differ from each other, but also have much in common. Fur-thermore, it is demonstrated that severe disparities can be observed between the center and the periphery of the region. Attention is drawn to the precarious situation of public transport and the service facilities such as specialist doctors; with discussion of how to implement structural change. However, similarities of the two regions are also identified.Specifically, what is clearly shown by the work is that although innovative projects can be developed by the Leader program, that ignite internal potential within the region, they do not, however, bring large-scale benefits, such as combatting depopulation or the aging of society. The LEADER-Program can not meet the greater need. But in fact, this is not the declared goal of this program. Much rather it is about mobilizing potentials and creating incentives, to make an indirect contribution on increasing the attractiveness of rural regions and to improve the quality of life.